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February 9–11, 2021
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Fusion Science and Technology
Notes on fusion
The ST25-HTS tokamak.
Governments around the world have been interested in fusion for more than 70 years. Fusion research was largely secret until 1968, when the Soviets unveiled exciting results from their tokamak (a magnetic confinement fusion device with a particular configuration that produces a toroidal plasma). The Soviets realized that tokamaks were not useful as weapons but could produce plasma in the million-degree temperature range to demonstrate Soviet scientific and technical prowess to the world.
Following this breakthrough, government laboratories around the world continued to pursue various methods of confining hot plasma to understand plasma physics under extreme conditions, getting closer and closer to the conditions necessary for fusion energy production. Tokamaks have been by far the most successful configuration. In the 1990s, the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory produced 10 MW of fusion power using deuterium-tritium fusion. A few years later, the Joint European Torus (JET) in the United Kingdom increased that to 16 MW, getting close to breakeven using 24 MW of power to heat the plasma.
Item ID: 800015|ISBN: 978*1461493372
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This book provides readers with an introductory understanding of Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC), a type of fusion meant to retain plasma using an electrostatic field. IEC provides a unique approach for plasma confinement, as it offers a number of spin-off applications, such as a small neutron source for Neutron Activity Analysis (NAA), that all work towards creating fusion power. The IEC has been identified in recent times as an ideal fusion power unit because of its ability to burn aneutronic fuels like p-B11 as a result of its non-Maxwellian plasma dominated by beam-like ions. This type of fusion also takes place in a simple mechanical structure small in size, which also contributes to its viability as a source of power. This book posits that the ability to study the physics of IEC in very small volume plasmas makes it possible to rapidly investigate a design to create a power-producing device on a much larger scale. Along with this hypothesis the book also includes a conceptual experiment proposed for demonstrating breakeven conditions for using p-B11 in a hydrogen plasma simulation.