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IFE target fabrication and injection—achieving “believability”

IFE target fabrication and injection—achieving “believability”,10.1016/S0168-9002(01)00016-X,Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research Section

IFE target fabrication and injection—achieving “believability”   (Citations: 3)
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At the heart of an inertial fusion energy (IFE) power plant is a target that has been compressed and heated to fusion conditions by the incident driver energy beams. The “Target Factory” at an inertial fusion power plant must produce about 500,000 targets per day, fill them with deuterium–tritium fuel, cool them to cryogenic temperature, and layer the solid fuel into a symmetric and smooth shell inside the capsule. The target must then accurately be delivered to the target chamber center at a rate of about 5Hz, with a precisely predicted target location. These fragile targets must survive injection into the target chamber without damage. While IFE power plant design studies have presented plausible scenarios for IFE target fabrication and injection, these issues have become “believability” issues for IFE. A credible pathway for development of accurate, economic and reliable IFE target fabrication and injection must be demonstrated before we can proceed with the next major step in the IFE Program, the construction of an IFE Integrated Research Experiment. General Atomics is designing, constructing, and testing an experimental Target Injection and Tracking System to develop the scientific understanding necessary for injection of IFE targets into a high temperature reaction chamber. This paper summarizes the requirements for IFE target fabrication and injection, reviews the results from the studies that predict success, discusses the development program now underway, and presents the current status of and results from that program.
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