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Title: Stabilized Spheromak Fusion Reactors

Abstract

The U.S. fusion energy program is focused on research with the potential for studying plasmas at thermonuclear temperatures, currently epitomized by the tokamak-based International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) but also continuing exploratory work on other plasma confinement concepts. Among the latter is the spheromak pursued on the SSPX facility at LLNL. Experiments in SSPX using electrostatic current drive by coaxial guns have now demonstrated stable spheromaks with good heat confinement, if the plasma is maintained near a Taylor state, but the anticipated high current amplification by gun injection has not yet been achieved. In future experiments and reactors, creating and maintaining a stable spheromak configuration at high magnetic field strength may require auxiliary current drive using neutral beams or RF power. Here we show that neutral beam current drive soon to be explored on SSPX could yield a compact spheromak reactor with current drive efficiency comparable to that of steady state tokamaks. Thus, while more will be learned about electrostatic current drive in coming months, results already achieved in SSPX could point to a productive parallel development path pursuing auxiliary current drive, consistent with plans to install neutral beams on SSPX in the near future. Among possible outcomes, spheromak researchmore » could also yield pulsed fusion reactors at lower capital cost than any fusion concept yet proposed.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
908102
Report Number(s):
UCRL-TR-229698
TRN: US0703618
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION; AMPLIFICATION; BEAM CURRENTS; CAPITALIZED COST; CONFIGURATION; CONFINEMENT; EFFICIENCY; ELECTROSTATICS; EXPERIMENTAL REACTORS; LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY; MAGNETIC FIELDS; PLASMA; PLASMA CONFINEMENT; PULSED FUSION REACTORS; THERMONUCLEAR REACTORS; TOKAMAK TYPE REACTORS

Citation Formats

Fowler, T. Stabilized Spheromak Fusion Reactors. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/908102.
Fowler, T. Stabilized Spheromak Fusion Reactors. United States. doi:10.2172/908102.
Fowler, T. Tue . "Stabilized Spheromak Fusion Reactors". United States. doi:10.2172/908102. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/908102.
@article{osti_908102,
title = {Stabilized Spheromak Fusion Reactors},
author = {Fowler, T},
abstractNote = {The U.S. fusion energy program is focused on research with the potential for studying plasmas at thermonuclear temperatures, currently epitomized by the tokamak-based International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) but also continuing exploratory work on other plasma confinement concepts. Among the latter is the spheromak pursued on the SSPX facility at LLNL. Experiments in SSPX using electrostatic current drive by coaxial guns have now demonstrated stable spheromaks with good heat confinement, if the plasma is maintained near a Taylor state, but the anticipated high current amplification by gun injection has not yet been achieved. In future experiments and reactors, creating and maintaining a stable spheromak configuration at high magnetic field strength may require auxiliary current drive using neutral beams or RF power. Here we show that neutral beam current drive soon to be explored on SSPX could yield a compact spheromak reactor with current drive efficiency comparable to that of steady state tokamaks. Thus, while more will be learned about electrostatic current drive in coming months, results already achieved in SSPX could point to a productive parallel development path pursuing auxiliary current drive, consistent with plans to install neutral beams on SSPX in the near future. Among possible outcomes, spheromak research could also yield pulsed fusion reactors at lower capital cost than any fusion concept yet proposed.},
doi = {10.2172/908102},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Apr 03 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Tue Apr 03 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

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