A Concept for a Low Pressure Noble Gas Fill Intervention in the IFE Fusion Test Facility (FTF) Target Chamber

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An engineering evaluation has been initiated to investigate conceptual engineering methods for implementing a viable gas shield strategy in the Fusion Test Facility (FTF) target chamber. The employment of a low pressure noble gas in the target chamber to thermalize energetic helium ions prior to interaction with the wall could dramatically increase the useful life of the first wall in the FTF reactor1. For the purpose of providing flexibility, two target chamber configurations are addressed: a five meter radius sphere and a ten meter radius sphere. Experimental studies at Nike have indicated that a low pressure, ambient gas resident in ... continued below

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C.A. Gentile, W.R. Blanchard, T.A. Kozub, M. Aristova, C. McGahan, S. Natta, K. Pagdon, J. Zelenty January 14, 2010.

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An engineering evaluation has been initiated to investigate conceptual engineering methods for implementing a viable gas shield strategy in the Fusion Test Facility (FTF) target chamber. The employment of a low pressure noble gas in the target chamber to thermalize energetic helium ions prior to interaction with the wall could dramatically increase the useful life of the first wall in the FTF reactor1. For the purpose of providing flexibility, two target chamber configurations are addressed: a five meter radius sphere and a ten meter radius sphere. Experimental studies at Nike have indicated that a low pressure, ambient gas resident in the target chamber during laser pulsing does not appear to impair the ability of laser light from illuminating targets2. In addition, current investigations into delivering, maintaining, and processing low pressure gas appear to be viable with slight modification to current pumping and plasma exhaust processing technologies3,4. Employment of a gas fill solution for protecting the dry wall target chamber in the FTF may reduce, or possibly eliminate the need for other attenuating technologies designed for keeping He ions from implanting in first wall structures and components. The gas fill concept appears to provide an effective means of extending the life of the first wall while employing mostly commercial off the shelf (COTS) technologies. Although a gas fill configuration may provide a methodology for attenuating damage inflicted on chamber surfaces, issues associated with target injection need to be further analyzed to ensure that the gas fill concept is viable in the integrated FTF design5. In the proposed system, the ambient noble gas is heated via the energetic helium ions produced by target detonation. The gas is subsequently cooled by the chamber wall to approximately 800oC, removed from the chamber, and processed by the chamber gas processing system (CGPS). In an optimized scenario of the above stated concept, the chamber wall acts as the primary heat exchanger. During removal, gas is pumped through the laser ports by turbo molecular-drag pumps (TM-DP). For the purpose of reducing organic based lubricants and seals, a magnetically levitated TM-DP is being investigated with pump manufacturers. Currently, magnetically levitated turbo molecular pumps are commercially available. The pumps will be exposed to thermal loads and ionizing radiation (tritium, Ar-41, post detonation neutrons). Although the TM-DP's will be subjected to these various radiations, current designs for similar pumping devices have been hardened and have the ability of locating control electronics in remote radiation shielded enclosures4. The radiation hardened TM-DP's will be 5 required to operate with minimal maintenance for periods of up to 18 continuous months. As part of this initial investigation for developing a conceptual engineering strategy for a gas fill solution, commercial suppliers of low pressure gas pumping systems have been contacted and engaged in this evaluation. Current technology in the area of mechanical pumping systems indicates that the development of a robust pumping system to meet the requirements of the FTF gas fill concept is within the limits of COTS equipment3,4.

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  • Report No.: PPPL-4478
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-09CH11466
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 971199
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc928571

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • January 14, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 8:48 p.m.

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C.A. Gentile, W.R. Blanchard, T.A. Kozub, M. Aristova, C. McGahan, S. Natta, K. Pagdon, J. Zelenty. A Concept for a Low Pressure Noble Gas Fill Intervention in the IFE Fusion Test Facility (FTF) Target Chamber, report, January 14, 2010; Princeton, New Jersey. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc928571/: accessed August 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.