Abstract Details

files Add files

Suitability of Small Scale Linear Systems for a Fission-Fusion Reactor, Breeder, and Waste Transmutation

Author: John Slough
Requested Type: Consider for Invited
Submitted: 2007-01-19 19:24:52


Contact Info:
University of Washington
223D Condon Hall
Seattle, WA   98105

Abstract Text:
The threshold size of a steady state fusion reactor to achieve required ignition and offer a safe protective shielding is quite large. This drives the capital costs for developing fusion power to levels that are well beyond what could be supported by industrial investments. In fact, even a single experimental demonstration of fusion gain will require global governmental funding for decades. This leaves the long-term sustainable interest in this type of fusion system in a very tenuous position. One option that allows for fusion to play a significant role in reducing dependence on carbon based fuels is to focus on fission-fusion hybrid reactors in which a central fusion chamber producing neutrons initiates a fission reaction in a surrounding blanket of fissile material. A hybrid reactor has a significant advantage in power factor over a pure fusion reactor for a given investment. Also, unlike a fission breeder, a fusion breeder reactor can supply several satellite reactors. This is because fusion is neutron rich and energy poor, while fission is energy rich and neutron poor. For small scale fusion systems, such as the reciprocating fusion cycle based on the magneto-kinetic compression of the FRC, there is fusion burn while there is no ignition. This particular system can be made very efficient which allows for operation at low gain. The gain enhancement from the fission (>10x) would provide for sub breakeven operation of the fusion cycle. The linear, simply connected, geometry of the burn chamber also provides for an excellent match for the breeding of fissile materials. A review of the applicability of fission-fusion to this and alternate fusion systems will be given.

Characterization: D


University of Maryland

Innovative Confinement Concepts Workshop
February 12-14, 2007
College Park, Maryland

ICC 2007 UM logo