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Fusion Science and Technology
Trump leaves space nuclear policy executive order for Biden team
A hot fire test of the core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi was not completed as planned. The SLS is the vehicle meant to propel a crewed mission to the moon in 2024. Source: NASA Television
Among the executive orders President Trump issued during his last weeks in office was “Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration,” which builds on the Space Policy Directives published during his term. The order, issued on January 12, calls for actions within the next six months by NASA and the Department of Defense (DOD), together with the Department of Energy and other federal entities. Whether the Biden administration will retain some, all, or none of the specific goals of the Trump administration’s space nuclear policy remains to be seen, but one thing is very clear: If deep space exploration remains a priority, nuclear-powered and -propelled spacecraft will be needed.
The prospects for near-term deployment of nuclear propulsion and power systems in space improved during Trump’s presidency. However, Trump left office days after a hot fire test of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket did not go as planned. The SLS rocket is meant to propel crewed missions to the moon in 2024 and to enable a series of long-duration lunar missions that could be powered by small lunar reactor installations. The test on January 16 of four engines that were supposed to fire for over eight minutes was automatically aborted after one minute, casting some doubt that a planned November 2021 Artemis I mission can go ahead on schedule.
H. J. de Blank
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 57 | Number 2 | February 2010 | Pages 124-136
Equilibrium and Instabilities | Proceedings of the Ninth Carolus Magnus Summer School on Plasma and Fusion Energy Physics | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST10-A9403
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
A general introduction to ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) stability of tokamak plasmas is given, using linear perturbations of the ideal MHD equations. Subsequently the Energy Principle for ideal MHD instabilities is derived. The specific instabilities which are then discussed are loosely divided into two categories. Under the name “current driven instabilities”, external and internal kink modes, which are modes with a large radial extent, are discussed. The internal m = 1 kink mode is responsible for sawtooth collapses and fishbone oscillations in tokamaks. Under the header “pressure driven instabilities”, more localized modes are presented. These modes may limit the pressure gradient in the plasma without causing sizeable disruptions. The ballooning limit and the Mercier criterion are presented. The Troyon limit is mentioned as a synthesis of several of these stability boundaries.