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Compact toroids and magnetized target fusion.

Glen Wurden (Los Alamos National Laboratory), with contributions from Alan Hoffman (U. Washington) and David Hill (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) described the status and promise of compact toroids (CT) and magnetized target fusion MTF).

In the category of CT, he included Spheromaks and Field Reversed Configurations (FRC). At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) the SSPX spheromak experiment is investigating spheromak formation, sustainment, and confinement. LLNL is also participating in a National Science Foundation Center for magnetic self-organization and the study of magnetic reconnection. At University of California, Davis, formation and acceleration of spheromaks is being studied. At the University of Washington, field reversed configurations plasmas are studied in the TCS experiment and the PHD experiment is under construction. Both are studying sustainment and translation/ballistic compression of FRC configurations. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, high density FRCs are being studied for use as a target plasma in MTF experiments. Plans are underway for plasma/liner implosion experiments in FY 2007. At the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, research is underway on FRC, merging spheromaks and general FRC theory. At Swarthmore College and California Institute of Technology, studies are underway on spheromak basic physics.

Wurden said that the FRC configuration had fusion reactor promise because it has "low complexity due to low magnetic field and a solenoidal magnet system with a natural linear divertor." This results in a "small reactor core with relatively easy maintenance and simple ash removal," he said. He also noted that FRC has a "cost effective development path, and the possibilities of using advanced fusion fuels and direct conversion to electricity.

Wurden said that Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) was a subset of Magneto-mertial Fusion, where a magnetic field is used to inhibit heat flow in an inertially compressed (high pressure) target plasma and thereby ease driver requirements. At 1 Megabar pressure, or higher, it is in the regime of High Energy Density Physics (HEDP). In MTF, an initial target plasma with an embedded magnetic field and a temperature in the 50-300 eV range is compressed. At Los Alarnos and at Air Force Research Laboratory, an FRC plasma is adiabatically compressed using an electromagnetically driven solid liner. Other approaches to MTF are possible, he said, each with its own particular advantages and disadvantages. MTF fusion reactors would operate at a density between that of magnetic and inertial fusion approaches, he said. The reactor would be batch burn, at a repetition rate of approximately one-tenth Hertz. The near-term goal at Los Alamos is conduct the first FRC plasma/liner implosion experiments in FY 2007.
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Publication:Fusion Power Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:424
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