Possibilities for magnetic control of fission plasma propulsion

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Magnetic fusion energy research suggests the use of some magnetoplasma configurations to address certain critical issues in the gas-core fission approach to nuclear-thermal propulsion. The general framework of such an investigation that was outlined in a previous paper is directed here at the spheromak configuration in greater detail. In some unoptimized examples, the authors explore the compatibility of gas-core fission reactor criticality conditions with the dynamo action needed to non-inductively sustain the spheromak. The Lundquist number S is identified as a figure of merit, and is estimated by modeling to be as large as 100 in near-critical uranium ({sup 233}U) ... continued below

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16 p.

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Gerwin, R.A.; Poston, D.I. & Nebel, R.A. September 1, 1995.

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Description

Magnetic fusion energy research suggests the use of some magnetoplasma configurations to address certain critical issues in the gas-core fission approach to nuclear-thermal propulsion. The general framework of such an investigation that was outlined in a previous paper is directed here at the spheromak configuration in greater detail. In some unoptimized examples, the authors explore the compatibility of gas-core fission reactor criticality conditions with the dynamo action needed to non-inductively sustain the spheromak. The Lundquist number S is identified as a figure of merit, and is estimated by modeling to be as large as 100 in near-critical uranium ({sup 233}U) plasmas of several-meter dimensions diluted with lithium ({sup 7}Li) when the spheromak power consumption is treated as a constraint; whereas S as small as 200 is observed to be still able to preserve MHD dynamo activity in 3D resistive MHD simulations. Further optimization studies are required to ascertain whether these two values can be made to coincide.

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16 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE95016975

Source

  • AIAA/SAE/ASME joint propulsion conference and exhibit, San Diego, CA (United States), 10-12 Jul 1995

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  • Other: DE95016975
  • Report No.: LA-UR--95-2674
  • Report No.: CONF-950720--11
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • DOI: 10.2172/102233 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 102233
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc623564

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  • September 1, 1995

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • Feb. 29, 2016, 6:59 p.m.

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Gerwin, R.A.; Poston, D.I. & Nebel, R.A. Possibilities for magnetic control of fission plasma propulsion, report, September 1, 1995; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc623564/: accessed April 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.