TRITIUM HANDLING PROBLEM IN CONTROLLED THERMONUCLEAR REACTORS. Page: 2 of 23
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THE TRITIUM HANDLING PROBLEM 12N CONTROLLED THERMONUCLEAR REACTORS
A. P. Fraas
The difficult plasma physics problems have almost completely dominated
the thermonuclear reactor program for the past 20 years. These problems
have been so formidable that there has been a serious question as to whether
they could ever be solved, but in the past few years progress has been
sufficiently encouraging so that people have begun to ask, "If you are able
to achieve a controlled fusion reaction, what will it be good for?" Thus,
although we have not as yet been able to achieve the required conditions
for sustained controlled thermonuclear reactions, we have attempted to en-
vision what a full-scale plant might look like assuming the favorable reso-
lution of the outstanding plasma physics problems. As a consequence,
several conceptual designs have been evolved, and each of these has revealed
a number of difficult materials problems. Of these, perhaps the most diffi-
cult and pervasive-is the tritium handling problem, for it affects the design
of virtually every component in the plant.
About a half-dozen different approaches to problems of obtaining a
controlled thermonuclear reactor are under active development. Rather than
attempt to describe each of these, it seems best for the purposes of this
paper to consider one typical example. Most of the effort in the thermo-
nuclear reactor program of the U.S., Britain, and the USSR is going into
magnetically confined plasmas. While there are many variations of this ap-
proach, a favorite is the use of a large solenoid magnet wrapped into a
torus as in Fig. 1. The toroidal magnetic field prevents ions in the high
temperature plasma from escaping; instead they swirl about in the magnetic
field following elements of helical paths.1
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Fraas, A.P. TRITIUM HANDLING PROBLEM IN CONTROLLED THERMONUCLEAR REACTORS., report, January 1, 1972; Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1030800/m1/2/: accessed July 15, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.