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China starts construction on 2 reactors
Construction formally began this week on two new nuclear reactors in China.
The China National Nuclear Corporation held a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the first phase of construction of the Jinqimen nuclear power plant in the eastern province of Zhejiang.
Rohan Puri, George H. Miley, Erik P. Ziehm, Raul Patino, Raad Najam
Nuclear Technology | Volume 208 | Number 1 | December 2022 | Pages S85-S95
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2022.2055702
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The Helicon Injected Inertial Plasma Electrostatic Rocket (HIIPER) is a space propulsion system developed at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The HIIPER couples a helicon tube with an inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC) fusion system. Its operating principle involves a helicon ionization stage followed by an electrostatic grid (IEC cathode grid) extraction stage. The helicon setup used in the HIIPER is modified to include a helicon bias grid at the upstream end of the tube. This grid is applied with a positive direct-current voltage to increase the plasma potential and the most probable ion energy of the plasma injected into the IEC fusion chamber. The IEC cathode grid in the HIIPER uses an innovative asymmetric design, graphically depicted through a computational model, that ejects a stream of electrons that accelerate the exhaust ions and simultaneously neutralize the exhaust jet. The model is also used to plot ion trajectories inside the HIIPER to identify any wall collision losses. A separate numerical study was undertaken to show augmentation of plasma kinetic energy on adding a magnetic nozzle as the final propulsion stage of the HIIPER. Experimental results were used to establish a relation between the input parameters and the ion density of the resulting plasma. Langmuir probe measurements were performed at two locations to validate corresponding computational results, indicating ion losses due to ion-wall collisions inside the helicon-IEC coupling. The results in this study add to the proof of concept of the HIIPER and allow for designing an upgrade of the propulsion system. Increasing thrust while maintaining plasma densities between 1017 and 1018 throughout the system is the current aim of HIIPER research. This study summarizes the various performance parameters of the propulsion system, along with a discussion of ongoing research and future scope.