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Axisymmetric Mirror as a Driver for a Fusion-Fission Hybrid: Physics Issues

Author: Dmitri D. Ryutov
Requested Type: Consider for Invited
Submitted: 2009-11-25 12:35:49


Contact Info:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
7000 East Avenue
Livermore, CA   94551

Abstract Text:
Axisymmetric mirror has a number of attractive features as a driver for a fusion-fission hybrid system. Among them are geometrical simplicity, inherently steady-state operation, and the presence of the natural divertors in the form of end tanks. Operation at Q~1 allows for relatively low electron temperatures, in the range of 4-5 keV, whereas the DT injection energy will be ~ 60-80 keV. Discussion of three groups of the physics issues will be presented: MHD stability in the axisymmetric geometry; microstability of sloshing ions; axial electron heat loss. The MHD stability will be provided by a proper combination of the warm plasma outflow and shaping the end surfaces. A large geometrical separation of the turning points of the sloshing ions provides complete loss of the gyro-phase information for an ion traveling from one turning point to another and leads to a robust micro-stabilization in the turning-point regions. The ions in the long uniform part of the device will be microstable due to their “quasi-isotropic” distribution and the presence of a significant amount of a warm plasma. The axial electron heat losses will be suppressed by a strong flaring of the flux surfaces in the end tanks, in combination with an efficient vacuum system. As a result, a driver with a mirror-to-mirror length ~ 30 – 50 m and total fusion power ~ 100-200 MW appears to be feasible. This work was performed under the Auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

Characterization: A1,E2


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