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Title: Progress Toward a Compact Fusion Reactor Using the Sheared-Flow-Stabilized Z-Pinch

Abstract

The sheared-flow-stabilized (SFS) Z-pinch is a promising confinement concept for the development of a compact fusion reactor. The Z-pinch has been theoretically and experimentally shown to be stable to magnetohydrodynamic modes when sufficient radial shear of the axial flow is present. At the University of Washington, the Fusion Z-pinch Experiment (FuZE) research project examines scaling the SFS Z-pinch toward fusion conditions. The FuZE device produces long-duration, 50-cm-long pinches with measured ion and electron temperatures over 1 keV and number densities greater than 10 17 cm 3 . Plasma properties are measured with a diagnostic suite that includes magnetic field probes, heterodyne quadrature interferometry, digital holographic interferometry, ion-Doppler spectroscopy, and fast framing photography. Neutrons are produced in the FuZE device when deuterium is injected along with the normal hydrogen or helium fueling species. Neutron generation is diagnosed using plastic scintillator detectors. The neutron production is sustained for 5 to 8 μs, thousands of times longer than the static Z-pinch instability growth time. We report measured neutron production is consistent with calculated theoretical values for thermonuclear yield at the observed plasma temperatures and scales with the square of the deuterium concentration. A preliminary reactor concept is designed to incorporate flowing liquid metal walls, which would serve as an electrode, a heat transfer fluid, a radiological shield, and a breeding blanket. Using a liquid metal wall could address several unresolved material and technology issues in existing fusion reactor designs.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E); Weizmann Institute of Science
OSTI Identifier:
1632373
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-811187
Journal ID: ISSN 1536-1055; 1018024
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344; AR00000571
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Fusion Science and Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 75; Journal Issue: 7; Conference: 23.Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy—Advanced Concepts and Materials, Orlando, FL (United States), 11-15 Nov 2018; Journal ID: ISSN 1536-1055
Publisher:
American Nuclear Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; alternative fusion concept; Z-pinch; neutron production; compact fusion reactor

Citation Formats

Forbes, Eleanor G., Shumlak, Uri, McLean, Harry S., Nelson, Brian A., Claveau, Elliot L., Golingo, Raymond P., Higginson, Drew P., Mitrani, James M., Stepanov, Anton D., Tummel, Kurt K., Weber, Tobin R., and Zhang, Yue. Progress Toward a Compact Fusion Reactor Using the Sheared-Flow-Stabilized Z-Pinch. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1080/15361055.2019.1622971.
Forbes, Eleanor G., Shumlak, Uri, McLean, Harry S., Nelson, Brian A., Claveau, Elliot L., Golingo, Raymond P., Higginson, Drew P., Mitrani, James M., Stepanov, Anton D., Tummel, Kurt K., Weber, Tobin R., & Zhang, Yue. Progress Toward a Compact Fusion Reactor Using the Sheared-Flow-Stabilized Z-Pinch. United States. https://doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2019.1622971
Forbes, Eleanor G., Shumlak, Uri, McLean, Harry S., Nelson, Brian A., Claveau, Elliot L., Golingo, Raymond P., Higginson, Drew P., Mitrani, James M., Stepanov, Anton D., Tummel, Kurt K., Weber, Tobin R., and Zhang, Yue. Wed . "Progress Toward a Compact Fusion Reactor Using the Sheared-Flow-Stabilized Z-Pinch". United States. https://doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2019.1622971. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1632373.
@article{osti_1632373,
title = {Progress Toward a Compact Fusion Reactor Using the Sheared-Flow-Stabilized Z-Pinch},
author = {Forbes, Eleanor G. and Shumlak, Uri and McLean, Harry S. and Nelson, Brian A. and Claveau, Elliot L. and Golingo, Raymond P. and Higginson, Drew P. and Mitrani, James M. and Stepanov, Anton D. and Tummel, Kurt K. and Weber, Tobin R. and Zhang, Yue},
abstractNote = {The sheared-flow-stabilized (SFS) Z-pinch is a promising confinement concept for the development of a compact fusion reactor. The Z-pinch has been theoretically and experimentally shown to be stable to magnetohydrodynamic modes when sufficient radial shear of the axial flow is present. At the University of Washington, the Fusion Z-pinch Experiment (FuZE) research project examines scaling the SFS Z-pinch toward fusion conditions. The FuZE device produces long-duration, 50-cm-long pinches with measured ion and electron temperatures over 1 keV and number densities greater than 1017 cm –3. Plasma properties are measured with a diagnostic suite that includes magnetic field probes, heterodyne quadrature interferometry, digital holographic interferometry, ion-Doppler spectroscopy, and fast framing photography. Neutrons are produced in the FuZE device when deuterium is injected along with the normal hydrogen or helium fueling species. Neutron generation is diagnosed using plastic scintillator detectors. The neutron production is sustained for 5 to 8 μs, thousands of times longer than the static Z-pinch instability growth time. We report measured neutron production is consistent with calculated theoretical values for thermonuclear yield at the observed plasma temperatures and scales with the square of the deuterium concentration. A preliminary reactor concept is designed to incorporate flowing liquid metal walls, which would serve as an electrode, a heat transfer fluid, a radiological shield, and a breeding blanket. Using a liquid metal wall could address several unresolved material and technology issues in existing fusion reactor designs.},
doi = {10.1080/15361055.2019.1622971},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1632373}, journal = {Fusion Science and Technology},
issn = {1536-1055},
number = 7,
volume = 75,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

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