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Progress report on the acoustically driven MTF experiment at General Fusion Inc.

Author: Michel G Laberge
Requested Type: Consider for Invited
Submitted: 2009-12-02 15:31:23

Co-authors: S.Howard

Contact Info:
General Fusion Inc.
108-3680 Bonneville Place
Burnaby, BC   12345

Abstract Text:
General Fusion Inc. secured $14 M of financing to develop its acoustically driven MTF concept. This presentation will describe the progress we have made to date. In order to answer certain basic physics questions, we have built a small 30 cm diameter, 100 kJ spheromak device mounted within a reinforced mobile container that can be driven to an explosive range. The plan is to compress the plasma with a high explosive driven flux conserver. Preliminary tests compressing an empty flux conserver with explosive demonstrated suitable symmetry and speed of implosion as well as adequate protection inside the container to enable reuse of the major hardware. However, the majority of our research effort is focused on the construction and operation of a 2 meter diameter, 5 meter long, 2.4 MJ coaxial spheromak accelerator. The acceleration section is tapered down to 40 cm diameter in order to produce a plasma of ~100 eV and ~1E17 cm-3. First plasma is expected in February 2010, so preliminary data may be shown if it is available. In the following year, a second spheromak accelerator will be built and the pair of accelerators will be used to conduct a merging CT experiment to form a spheromak or a FRC. The results from these experiments will be used to finalize the design of the prototype MTF reactor, in which a merged-CT target plasma will be formed within the vortex cavity of a rotating flow of liquid lead-lithium in a 3 meter diameter sphere. A synchronized array of 200 compressed air driven pistons will impact the sphere with a kinetic energy of ~100 MJ. The piston impact generates an acoustic wave that focuses to the center becoming a strong shock wave and compressing the plasma to thermonuclear conditions. Results from the development of single high performance piston will be presented. In parallel with our experimental effort we are developing numerical simulations of the metal structure, fluid and plasma. LS-Dyna has been used for structure and fluid simulations. NIMROD and SEL are being used for plasma simulation. Results of this numerical work will also be presented.

Characterization: C


Princeton University

Innovative Confinement Concepts Workshop
February 16-19, 2010
Princeton, New Jersey

ICC 2010