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Title: Recyclable transmission line (RTL) and linear transformer driver (LTD) development for Z-pinch inertial fusion energy (Z-IFE) and high yield.

Abstract

Z-Pinch Inertial Fusion Energy (Z-IFE) complements and extends the single-shot z-pinch fusion program on Z to a repetitive, high-yield, power plant scenario that can be used for the production of electricity, transmutation of nuclear waste, and hydrogen production, all with no CO{sub 2} production and no long-lived radioactive nuclear waste. The Z-IFE concept uses a Linear Transformer Driver (LTD) accelerator, and a Recyclable Transmission Line (RTL) to connect the LTD driver to a high-yield fusion target inside a thick-liquid-wall power plant chamber. Results of RTL and LTD research are reported here, that include: (1) The key physics issues for RTLs involve the power flow at the high linear current densities that occur near the target (up to 5 MA/cm). These issues include surface heating, melting, ablation, plasma formation, electron flow, magnetic insulation, conductivity changes, magnetic field diffusion changes, possible ion flow, and RTL mass motion. These issues are studied theoretically, computationally (with the ALEGRA and LSP codes), and will work at 5 MA/cm or higher, with anode-cathode gaps as small as 2 mm. (2) An RTL misalignment sensitivity study has been performed using a 3D circuit model. Results show very small load current variations for significant RTL misalignments. (3) Themore » key structural issues for RTLs involve optimizing the RTL strength (varying shape, ribs, etc.) while minimizing the RTL mass. Optimization studies show RTL mass reductions by factors of three or more. (4) Fabrication and pressure testing of Z-PoP (Proof-of-Principle) size RTLs are successfully reported here. (5) Modeling of the effect of initial RTL imperfections on the buckling pressure has been performed. Results show that the curved RTL offers a much greater buckling pressure as well as less sensitivity to imperfections than three other RTL designs. (6) Repetitive operation of a 0.5 MA, 100 kV, 100 ns, LTD cavity with gas purging between shots and automated operation is demonstrated at the SNL Z-IFE LTD laboratory with rep-rates up to 10.3 seconds between shots (this is essentially at the goal of 10 seconds for Z-IFE). (7) A single LTD switch at Tomsk was fired repetitively every 12 seconds for 36,000 shots with no failures. (8) Five 1.0 MA, 100 kV, 100 ns, LTD cavities have been combined into a voltage adder configuration with a test load to successfully study the system operation. (9) The combination of multiple LTD coaxial lines into a tri-plate transmission line is examined. The 3D Quicksilver code is used to study the electron flow losses produced near the magnetic nulls that occur where coax LTD lines are added together. (10) Circuit model codes are used to model the complete power flow circuit with an inductive isolator cavity. (11) LTD architectures are presented for drivers for Z-IFE and high yield. A 60 MA LTD driver and a 90 MA LTD driver are proposed. Present results from all of these power flow studies validate the whole LTD/RTL concept for single-shot ICF high yield, and for repetitive-shot IFE.« less

Authors:
;  [1]; ; ;  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [4];  [1]; ;  [8]; ;  [9];  [4];  [10];  [7];  [11] more »;  [11]; ; ; « less
  1. (Kurchatov Institute, Moscow, Russia)
  2. (Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC)
  3. (Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC)
  4. (Voss Scientific, Albuquerque, NM)
  5. (High Currents Institute, Tomsk, Russia)
  6. (University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI)
  7. (University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI)
  8. (Kurchatov Institute, Moscow, Russia)
  9. (Kurchatov Institute, Moscow, Russia)
  10. (University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL)
  11. (Voss Scientific, Albuquerque, NM)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Laboratories
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
900850
Report Number(s):
SAND2007-0059
TRN: US0702419
DOE Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; ABLATION; DEFECTS; DIFFUSION; ELECTRONS; HYDROGEN PRODUCTION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC INSULATION; OPTIMIZATION; POWER PLANTS; POWER TRANSMISSION LINES; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; THERMONUCLEAR REACTORS; TRANSFORMERS; TRANSMUTATION; Electric power production.; Fusion reactors-Research.; Transmission lines.

Citation Formats

Sharpe, Robin Arthur, Kingsep, Alexander S., Smith, David Lewis, Olson, Craig Lee, Ottinger, Paul F., Schumer, Joseph Wade, Welch, Dale Robert, Kim, Alexander, Kulcinski, Gerald L., Kammer, Daniel C., Rose, David Vincent, Nedoseev, Sergei L., Pointon, Timothy David, Smirnov, Valentin P., Turgeon, Matthew C., Kalinin, Yuri G., Bruner, Nichelle "Nicki", Barkey, Mark E., Guthrie, Michael, Thoma, Carsten, Genoni, Tom C., Langston, William L., Fowler, William E., and Mazarakis, Michael Gerrassimos. Recyclable transmission line (RTL) and linear transformer driver (LTD) development for Z-pinch inertial fusion energy (Z-IFE) and high yield.. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/900850.
Sharpe, Robin Arthur, Kingsep, Alexander S., Smith, David Lewis, Olson, Craig Lee, Ottinger, Paul F., Schumer, Joseph Wade, Welch, Dale Robert, Kim, Alexander, Kulcinski, Gerald L., Kammer, Daniel C., Rose, David Vincent, Nedoseev, Sergei L., Pointon, Timothy David, Smirnov, Valentin P., Turgeon, Matthew C., Kalinin, Yuri G., Bruner, Nichelle "Nicki", Barkey, Mark E., Guthrie, Michael, Thoma, Carsten, Genoni, Tom C., Langston, William L., Fowler, William E., & Mazarakis, Michael Gerrassimos. Recyclable transmission line (RTL) and linear transformer driver (LTD) development for Z-pinch inertial fusion energy (Z-IFE) and high yield.. United States. doi:10.2172/900850.
Sharpe, Robin Arthur, Kingsep, Alexander S., Smith, David Lewis, Olson, Craig Lee, Ottinger, Paul F., Schumer, Joseph Wade, Welch, Dale Robert, Kim, Alexander, Kulcinski, Gerald L., Kammer, Daniel C., Rose, David Vincent, Nedoseev, Sergei L., Pointon, Timothy David, Smirnov, Valentin P., Turgeon, Matthew C., Kalinin, Yuri G., Bruner, Nichelle "Nicki", Barkey, Mark E., Guthrie, Michael, Thoma, Carsten, Genoni, Tom C., Langston, William L., Fowler, William E., and Mazarakis, Michael Gerrassimos. Mon . "Recyclable transmission line (RTL) and linear transformer driver (LTD) development for Z-pinch inertial fusion energy (Z-IFE) and high yield.". United States. doi:10.2172/900850. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/900850.
@article{osti_900850,
title = {Recyclable transmission line (RTL) and linear transformer driver (LTD) development for Z-pinch inertial fusion energy (Z-IFE) and high yield.},
author = {Sharpe, Robin Arthur and Kingsep, Alexander S. and Smith, David Lewis and Olson, Craig Lee and Ottinger, Paul F. and Schumer, Joseph Wade and Welch, Dale Robert and Kim, Alexander and Kulcinski, Gerald L. and Kammer, Daniel C. and Rose, David Vincent and Nedoseev, Sergei L. and Pointon, Timothy David and Smirnov, Valentin P. and Turgeon, Matthew C. and Kalinin, Yuri G. and Bruner, Nichelle "Nicki" and Barkey, Mark E. and Guthrie, Michael and Thoma, Carsten and Genoni, Tom C. and Langston, William L. and Fowler, William E. and Mazarakis, Michael Gerrassimos},
abstractNote = {Z-Pinch Inertial Fusion Energy (Z-IFE) complements and extends the single-shot z-pinch fusion program on Z to a repetitive, high-yield, power plant scenario that can be used for the production of electricity, transmutation of nuclear waste, and hydrogen production, all with no CO{sub 2} production and no long-lived radioactive nuclear waste. The Z-IFE concept uses a Linear Transformer Driver (LTD) accelerator, and a Recyclable Transmission Line (RTL) to connect the LTD driver to a high-yield fusion target inside a thick-liquid-wall power plant chamber. Results of RTL and LTD research are reported here, that include: (1) The key physics issues for RTLs involve the power flow at the high linear current densities that occur near the target (up to 5 MA/cm). These issues include surface heating, melting, ablation, plasma formation, electron flow, magnetic insulation, conductivity changes, magnetic field diffusion changes, possible ion flow, and RTL mass motion. These issues are studied theoretically, computationally (with the ALEGRA and LSP codes), and will work at 5 MA/cm or higher, with anode-cathode gaps as small as 2 mm. (2) An RTL misalignment sensitivity study has been performed using a 3D circuit model. Results show very small load current variations for significant RTL misalignments. (3) The key structural issues for RTLs involve optimizing the RTL strength (varying shape, ribs, etc.) while minimizing the RTL mass. Optimization studies show RTL mass reductions by factors of three or more. (4) Fabrication and pressure testing of Z-PoP (Proof-of-Principle) size RTLs are successfully reported here. (5) Modeling of the effect of initial RTL imperfections on the buckling pressure has been performed. Results show that the curved RTL offers a much greater buckling pressure as well as less sensitivity to imperfections than three other RTL designs. (6) Repetitive operation of a 0.5 MA, 100 kV, 100 ns, LTD cavity with gas purging between shots and automated operation is demonstrated at the SNL Z-IFE LTD laboratory with rep-rates up to 10.3 seconds between shots (this is essentially at the goal of 10 seconds for Z-IFE). (7) A single LTD switch at Tomsk was fired repetitively every 12 seconds for 36,000 shots with no failures. (8) Five 1.0 MA, 100 kV, 100 ns, LTD cavities have been combined into a voltage adder configuration with a test load to successfully study the system operation. (9) The combination of multiple LTD coaxial lines into a tri-plate transmission line is examined. The 3D Quicksilver code is used to study the electron flow losses produced near the magnetic nulls that occur where coax LTD lines are added together. (10) Circuit model codes are used to model the complete power flow circuit with an inductive isolator cavity. (11) LTD architectures are presented for drivers for Z-IFE and high yield. A 60 MA LTD driver and a 90 MA LTD driver are proposed. Present results from all of these power flow studies validate the whole LTD/RTL concept for single-shot ICF high yield, and for repetitive-shot IFE.},
doi = {10.2172/900850},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Recyclable transmission lines (RTL)s are being studied as a means to repetitively drive z pinches to generate fusion energy. We have shown previously that the RTL mass can be quite modest. Minimizing the RTL mass reduces recycling costs and the impulse delivered to the first wall of a fusion chamber. Despite this reduction in mass, a few seconds will be needed to reload an RTL after each subsequent shot. This is in comparison to other inertial fusion approaches that expect to fire up to ten capsules per second. Thus a larger fusion yield is needed to compensate for the slowermore » repetition rate in a z-pinch driven fusion reactor. We present preliminary designs of z-pinch driven fusion capsules that provide an adequate yield of 1-4 GJ. We also present numerical simulations of the effect of these fairly large fusion yields on the RTL and the first wall of the reactor chamber. These simulations were performed with and without a neutron absorbing blanket surrounding the fusion explosion. We find that the RTL will be fully vaporized out to a radius of about 3 meters assuming normal incidence. However, at large enough radius the RTL will remain in either the liquid or solid state and this portion of the RTL could fragment and become shrapnel. We show that a dynamic fragmentation theory can be used to estimate the size of these fragmented particles. We discuss how proper design of the RTL can allow this shrapnel to be directed away from the sensitive mechanical parts of the reactor chamber.« less
  • In the High-Yield Lithium-Injection Fusion-Energy (HYLIFE) power plant design, lithium is replaced by molten salt. HYLIFE-II [Fusion Technol. {bold 25}, 5 (1994)] is based on nonflammable, renewable-liquid-wall fusion target chambers formed with Li{sub 2}BeF{sub 4} molten-salt jets, a heavy-ion driver, and single-sided illumination of indirect-drive targets. Building fusion chambers from existing materials with life-of-plant structural walls behind the liquid walls, while still meeting non-nuclear grade construction and low-level waste requirements, has profound implications for inertial fusion energy (IFE) development. Fluid-flow work and computational fluid dynamics predict chamber clearing adequate for 6 Hz pulse rates. Predicted electricity cost is reduced aboutmore » 30% to 4.4{cents}/kWh at 1 GWe and 3.2{cents}/kWh at 2 GWe. Development can be foreshortened and cost reduced by obviating expensive neutron sources to develop first-wall materials. The driver and chamber can be upgraded in stages, avoiding separate and sequential facilities. Important features of a practical IFE power plant are ignition and sufficient gain in targets; low-cost, efficient, rep-ratable driver; and low-cost targets.« less
  • The purpose of this work was to develop a conceptual design for the Saturn accelerator using the modular Liner-Transformer Driver (LTD) technology to identify risks and to focus development and research for this new technology. We present a reference design for a Saturn class driver based on a number of linear inductive voltage adders connected in parallel. This design is very similar to a design reported five years ago [1]. However, with the design reported here we use 1-MA, 100-kV LTD cavities as building blocks. These cavities have already been built and are currently in operation at the HCEI inmore » Tomsk, Russia [2]. Therefore, this new design integrates already-proven individual components into a full system design.« less
  • Pulsed power driven flash x-ray radiography is a valuable diagnostic for subcritical experiments at the Nevada Test Site. The existing dual-axis Cygnus system produces images using a 2.25 MV electron beam diode to produce intense x-rays from a small source. Future hydrodynamic experiments will likely use objects with higher areal mass, requiring increased x-ray dose and higher voltages while maintaining small source spot size. A linear transformer driver (LTD) is a compact pulsed power technology with applications ranging from pulsed power flash x-ray radiography to high current Z-pinch accelerators. This report describes the design of a 7-MV dual-axis system thatmore » occupies the same lab space as the Cygnus accelerators. The work builds on a design proposed in a previous report [1]. This new design provides increased diode voltage from a lower impedance accelerator to improve coupling to low impedance diodes such as the self magnetic pinch (SMP) diode. The design also improves the predicted reliability by operating at a lower charge voltage and removing components that have proven vulnerable to failure. Simulations of the new design and experimental results of the 1-MV prototype are presented.« less
  • Recyclable transmission lines (RTL) are studied as a means of repetitively driving z pinches. The lowest reprocessing costs should be obtained by minimizing the mass of the RTL. Low mass transmission lines (LMTL) could also help reduce the cost of a single shot facility such as the proposed X-1 accelerator and make z-pinch driven space propulsion feasible. We present calculations to determine the minimum LMTL electrode mass to provide sufficient inertia against the magnetic pressure produced by the large currents needed to drive the z pinches. The results indicate an electrode thickness which is much smaller than the resistive skinmore » depth. We have performed experiments to determine if such thin electrodes can efficiently carry the required current. The tests were performed with various thickness of materials. The results indicate that LMTLs should efficiently carry the large z-pinch currents needed for inertial fusion. We also use our results to estimate of the performance of pulsed power driven pulsed nuclear rockets.« less