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Title: Collisional considerations in axial-collection plasma mass filters

Abstract

The chemical inhomogeneity of nuclear waste makes chemical separations difficult, while the correlation between radioactivity and nuclear mass makes mass-based separation, and in particular plasma-based separation, an attractive alternative. Here, we examine a particular class of plasma mass filters, namely filters in which (a) species of different masses are collected along magnetic field lines at opposite ends of an open-field-line plasma device and (b) gyro-drift effects are important for the separation process. Using an idealized cylindrical model, we derive a set of dimensionless parameters which provide minimum necessary conditions for an effective mass filter function in the presence of ion-ion and ion-neutral collisions. Through simulations of the constant-density profile, turbulence-free devices, we find that these parameters accurately describe the mass filter performance in more general magnetic geometries. We then use these parameters to study the design and upgrade of current experiments, as well as to derive general scalings for the throughput of production mass filters. Most importantly, we find that ion temperatures above 3 eV and magnetic fields above 104 G are critical to ensure a feasible mass filter function when operating at an ion density of 1013 cm–3.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States); Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
  2. CNRS, Toulouse (France)
  3. 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) (SC-24)
Contributing Org.:
Laboratoire Plasma et Conversion d'Energie, CNRS, INPT, UPS, 31062 Toulouse, France
OSTI Identifier:
1358660
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1373962
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-09CH11466
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; radial potential profile; mirror; simulations

Citation Formats

Ochs, I. E., Gueroult, R., Fisch, N. J., and Zweben, S. J. Collisional considerations in axial-collection plasma mass filters. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4978949.
Ochs, I. E., Gueroult, R., Fisch, N. J., & Zweben, S. J. Collisional considerations in axial-collection plasma mass filters. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4978949.
Ochs, I. E., Gueroult, R., Fisch, N. J., and Zweben, S. J. Sat . "Collisional considerations in axial-collection plasma mass filters". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4978949. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1358660.
@article{osti_1358660,
title = {Collisional considerations in axial-collection plasma mass filters},
author = {Ochs, I. E. and Gueroult, R. and Fisch, N. J. and Zweben, S. J.},
abstractNote = {The chemical inhomogeneity of nuclear waste makes chemical separations difficult, while the correlation between radioactivity and nuclear mass makes mass-based separation, and in particular plasma-based separation, an attractive alternative. Here, we examine a particular class of plasma mass filters, namely filters in which (a) species of different masses are collected along magnetic field lines at opposite ends of an open-field-line plasma device and (b) gyro-drift effects are important for the separation process. Using an idealized cylindrical model, we derive a set of dimensionless parameters which provide minimum necessary conditions for an effective mass filter function in the presence of ion-ion and ion-neutral collisions. Through simulations of the constant-density profile, turbulence-free devices, we find that these parameters accurately describe the mass filter performance in more general magnetic geometries. We then use these parameters to study the design and upgrade of current experiments, as well as to derive general scalings for the throughput of production mass filters. Most importantly, we find that ion temperatures above 3 eV and magnetic fields above 104 G are critical to ensure a feasible mass filter function when operating at an ion density of 1013 cm–3.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4978949},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 4,
volume = 24,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {4}
}

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