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Title: Wave-driven rotation and mass separation in rotating magnetic mirrors

Abstract

Axisymmetric mirrors are attractive for fusion because of their simplicity, high plasma pressure at a given magnetic pressure, and steady state operation. Their subclass, rotating mirrors, are particularly interesting because they have increased parallel confinement, magnetohydrodynamic stability, and a natural heating mechanism. This thesis finds and explores an unusual effect in supersonically rotating plasmas: particles are diffused by waves in both potential energy and kinetic energy. Extending the alpha channeling concept to rotating plasmas, the alpha particles may be removed at low energy through the loss cone, and the energy lost may be transferred to the radial electric field. This eliminates the need for electrodes in the mirror throat, which have presented serious technical issues in past rotating plasma devices. A high azimuthal mode number perturbation on the magnetic field is a particularly simple way to achieve the latter effect. In the rotating frame, this perturbation is seen as a wave near the alpha particle cyclotron harmonic, and can break the azimuthal symmetry and magnetic moment conservation without changing the particles total energy. The particle may exit if it reduces its kinetic energy and becomes more trapped if it gains kinetic energy, leading to a steady state current that maintainsmore » the field. Simulations of single particles in rotating mirrors show that a stationary wave can extract enough energy from alpha particles for a reactor to be self-sustaining. In the same way, rotation can be produced in non-fusion plasmas. Waves are identified to produce rotation in plasma centrifuges, which separate isotopes based on their mass difference. Finally, a new high throughput mass filter which is well suited to separating nuclear waste is presented. The new filter, the magnetic centrifugal mass filter (MCMF), has well confined output streams and less potential for nuclear proliferation than competing technologies. To assess the usefulness of the MCMF, a metric for comparing mass filters is developed. With this metric, the MCMF is compared with other mass filters such as the Ohkawa filter and the conventional plasma centrifuge.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES)
OSTI Identifier:
1364443
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-09CH11466
Resource Type:
Thesis/Dissertation
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; plasma physics

Citation Formats

Fetterman, Abraham J. Wave-driven rotation and mass separation in rotating magnetic mirrors. United States: N. p., 2012. Web.
Fetterman, Abraham J. Wave-driven rotation and mass separation in rotating magnetic mirrors. United States.
Fetterman, Abraham J. Sun . "Wave-driven rotation and mass separation in rotating magnetic mirrors". United States.
@article{osti_1364443,
title = {Wave-driven rotation and mass separation in rotating magnetic mirrors},
author = {Fetterman, Abraham J.},
abstractNote = {Axisymmetric mirrors are attractive for fusion because of their simplicity, high plasma pressure at a given magnetic pressure, and steady state operation. Their subclass, rotating mirrors, are particularly interesting because they have increased parallel confinement, magnetohydrodynamic stability, and a natural heating mechanism. This thesis finds and explores an unusual effect in supersonically rotating plasmas: particles are diffused by waves in both potential energy and kinetic energy. Extending the alpha channeling concept to rotating plasmas, the alpha particles may be removed at low energy through the loss cone, and the energy lost may be transferred to the radial electric field. This eliminates the need for electrodes in the mirror throat, which have presented serious technical issues in past rotating plasma devices. A high azimuthal mode number perturbation on the magnetic field is a particularly simple way to achieve the latter effect. In the rotating frame, this perturbation is seen as a wave near the alpha particle cyclotron harmonic, and can break the azimuthal symmetry and magnetic moment conservation without changing the particles total energy. The particle may exit if it reduces its kinetic energy and becomes more trapped if it gains kinetic energy, leading to a steady state current that maintains the field. Simulations of single particles in rotating mirrors show that a stationary wave can extract enough energy from alpha particles for a reactor to be self-sustaining. In the same way, rotation can be produced in non-fusion plasmas. Waves are identified to produce rotation in plasma centrifuges, which separate isotopes based on their mass difference. Finally, a new high throughput mass filter which is well suited to separating nuclear waste is presented. The new filter, the magnetic centrifugal mass filter (MCMF), has well confined output streams and less potential for nuclear proliferation than competing technologies. To assess the usefulness of the MCMF, a metric for comparing mass filters is developed. With this metric, the MCMF is compared with other mass filters such as the Ohkawa filter and the conventional plasma centrifuge.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1364443}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {1}
}

Thesis/Dissertation:
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