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Title: Progress Toward the Analysis of the Kinetic Stabilizer Concept

Abstract

The Kinetic Stabilizer (K-S) concept [1] represents a means for stabilizing axisymmetric mirror and tandem-mirror (T-M) magnetic fusion systems against MHD interchange instability modes. Magnetic fusion research has given us examples of axisymmetric mirror confinement devices in which radial transport rates approach the classical ''Spitzer'' level, i.e. situations in which turbulence if present at all, is at too low a level to adversely affect the radial transport [2,3,4]. If such a low-turbulence condition could be achieved in a T-M system it could lead to a fusion power system that would be simpler, smaller, and easier to develop than one based on closed-field confinement, e.g., the tokamak, where the transport is known to be dominated by turbulence. However, since conventional axisymmetric mirror systems suffer from the MHD interchange instability, the key to exploiting this new opportunity is to find a practical way to stabilize this mode. The K-S represents one avenue to achieving this goal. The starting point for the K-S concept is a theoretical analysis by Ryutov [5]. He showed that a MHD-unstable plasma contained in an axisymmetric mirror cell can be MHD-stabilized by the presence of a low-density plasma on the expanding field lines outside the mirrors. If thismore » plasma communicates well electrically with the plasma in the then this exterior plasma can stabilize the interior, confined, plasma. This stabilization technique was conclusively demonstrated in the Gas Dynamic Trap (GDT) experiment [6] at Novosibirsk, Russia, at mirror-cell plasma beta values of 40 percent. The GDT operates in a high collisionality regime. Thus the effluent plasma leaking through the mirrors, though much lower in density than that of the confined plasma, is still high enough to satisfy the stabilization criterion. This would not, however, be the case in a fusion T-M with axisymmetric plug and central cell fields. In such a case the effluent plasma would be far too low in density to stabilize the plasmas in the plug cells and the central cell. The K-S resolves this dilemma by employing ion beams injected up the magnetic gradient in the ''expander'' region outside the outermost mirror in such a way that as they are compressed, stagnated, and reflected they form a ''stabilizer'' plasma in the expander. Preliminary calculations [1] showed that the power required to maintain the stabilizer beams would be orders of magnitude less than the fusion power generated. This report reviews those calculations and describes additional theoretical and computational work in progress, aimed at confirming and extending the analysis of the K-S concept as applied to axisymmetric tandem mirror systems.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
15016012
Report Number(s):
UCRL-PROC-209636
TRN: US200509%%741
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Presented at: Current Trends in International Fusion Research, Washington, DC (US), 03/24/2003--03/28/2003; Other Information: PBD: 8 Feb 2005
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; CONFINEMENT; FLUTE INSTABILITY; ION BEAMS; KINETICS; MIRRORS; PLASMA; POWER SYSTEMS; STABILIZATION; TANDEM MIRRORS; TRANSPORT; TURBULENCE

Citation Formats

Post, R F, Byers, J A, Cohen, R H, Fowler, T K, Ryutov, D D, and Tung, L S. Progress Toward the Analysis of the Kinetic Stabilizer Concept. United States: N. p., 2005. Web.
Post, R F, Byers, J A, Cohen, R H, Fowler, T K, Ryutov, D D, & Tung, L S. Progress Toward the Analysis of the Kinetic Stabilizer Concept. United States.
Post, R F, Byers, J A, Cohen, R H, Fowler, T K, Ryutov, D D, and Tung, L S. Tue . "Progress Toward the Analysis of the Kinetic Stabilizer Concept". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/15016012.
@article{osti_15016012,
title = {Progress Toward the Analysis of the Kinetic Stabilizer Concept},
author = {Post, R F and Byers, J A and Cohen, R H and Fowler, T K and Ryutov, D D and Tung, L S},
abstractNote = {The Kinetic Stabilizer (K-S) concept [1] represents a means for stabilizing axisymmetric mirror and tandem-mirror (T-M) magnetic fusion systems against MHD interchange instability modes. Magnetic fusion research has given us examples of axisymmetric mirror confinement devices in which radial transport rates approach the classical ''Spitzer'' level, i.e. situations in which turbulence if present at all, is at too low a level to adversely affect the radial transport [2,3,4]. If such a low-turbulence condition could be achieved in a T-M system it could lead to a fusion power system that would be simpler, smaller, and easier to develop than one based on closed-field confinement, e.g., the tokamak, where the transport is known to be dominated by turbulence. However, since conventional axisymmetric mirror systems suffer from the MHD interchange instability, the key to exploiting this new opportunity is to find a practical way to stabilize this mode. The K-S represents one avenue to achieving this goal. The starting point for the K-S concept is a theoretical analysis by Ryutov [5]. He showed that a MHD-unstable plasma contained in an axisymmetric mirror cell can be MHD-stabilized by the presence of a low-density plasma on the expanding field lines outside the mirrors. If this plasma communicates well electrically with the plasma in the then this exterior plasma can stabilize the interior, confined, plasma. This stabilization technique was conclusively demonstrated in the Gas Dynamic Trap (GDT) experiment [6] at Novosibirsk, Russia, at mirror-cell plasma beta values of 40 percent. The GDT operates in a high collisionality regime. Thus the effluent plasma leaking through the mirrors, though much lower in density than that of the confined plasma, is still high enough to satisfy the stabilization criterion. This would not, however, be the case in a fusion T-M with axisymmetric plug and central cell fields. In such a case the effluent plasma would be far too low in density to stabilize the plasmas in the plug cells and the central cell. The K-S resolves this dilemma by employing ion beams injected up the magnetic gradient in the ''expander'' region outside the outermost mirror in such a way that as they are compressed, stagnated, and reflected they form a ''stabilizer'' plasma in the expander. Preliminary calculations [1] showed that the power required to maintain the stabilizer beams would be orders of magnitude less than the fusion power generated. This report reviews those calculations and describes additional theoretical and computational work in progress, aimed at confirming and extending the analysis of the K-S concept as applied to axisymmetric tandem mirror systems.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2005},
month = {2}
}

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