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Recyclable transmission line concept for z-pinch driven inertial fusion energy.

Description: Recyclable transmission lines (RTL)s are being studied as a means to repetitively drive z pinches to generate fusion energy. We have shown previously that the RTL mass can be quite modest. Minimizing the RTL mass reduces recycling costs and the impulse delivered to the first wall of a fusion chamber. Despite this reduction in mass, a few seconds will be needed to reload an RTL after each subsequent shot. This is in comparison to other inertial fusion approaches that expect to fire up to ten capsules per second. Thus a larger fusion yield is needed to compensate for the slower repetition rate in a z-pinch driven fusion reactor. We present preliminary designs of z-pinch driven fusion capsules that provide an adequate yield of 1-4 GJ. We also present numerical simulations of the effect of these fairly large fusion yields on the RTL and the first wall of the reactor chamber. These simulations were performed with and without a neutron absorbing blanket surrounding the fusion explosion. We find that the RTL will be fully vaporized out to a radius of about 3 meters assuming normal incidence. However, at large enough radius the RTL will remain in either the liquid or solid state and this portion of the RTL could fragment and become shrapnel. We show that a dynamic fragmentation theory can be used to estimate the size of these fragmented particles. We discuss how proper design of the RTL can allow this shrapnel to be directed away from the sensitive mechanical parts of the reactor chamber.
Date: December 1, 2003
Creator: De Groot, J. S. (University of California, Davis, CA); Olson, Craig Lee; Cochrane, Kyle Robert (Ktech Corporation, Albuquerque, NM); Slutz, Stephen A.; Vesey, Roger Alan & Peterson, Per F. (University of California, Berkeley, CA)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Planar wire array performance scaling at multi-MA levels on the Saturn generator.

Description: A series of twelve shots were performed on the Saturn generator in order to conduct an initial evaluation of the planar wire array z-pinch concept at multi-MA current levels. Planar wire arrays, in which all wires lie in a single plane, could offer advantages over standard cylindrical wire arrays for driving hohlraums for inertial confinement fusion studies as the surface area of the electrodes in the load region (which serve as hohlraum walls) may be substantially reduced. In these experiments, mass and array width scans were performed using tungsten wires. A maximum total radiated x-ray power of 10 {+-} 2 TW was observed with 20 mm wide arrays imploding in {approx}100 ns at a load current of {approx}3 MA, limited by the high inductance. Decreased power in the 4-6 TW range was observed at the smallest width studied (8 mm). 10 kJ of Al K-shell x-rays were obtained in one Al planar array fielded. This report will discuss the zero-dimensional calculations used to design the loads, the results of the experiments, and potential future research to determine if planar wire arrays will continue to scale favorably at current levels typical of the Z machine. Implosion dynamics will be discussed, including x-ray self-emission imaging used to infer the velocity of the implosion front and the potential role of trailing mass. Resistive heating has been previously cited as the cause for enhanced yields observed in excess of jxB-coupled energy. The analysis presented in this report suggests that jxB-coupled energy may explain as much as the energy in the first x-ray pulse but not the total yield, which is similar to our present understanding of cylindrical wire array behavior.
Date: October 2007
Creator: Chuvatin, Alexander S.; Jones, Michael; Vesey, Roger Alan; Waisman, Eduardo M.; Esaulov, Andrey A.; Ampleford, David J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Compact Wire Array Sources: Power Scaling and Implosion Physics.

Description: A series of ten shots were performed on the Saturn generator in short pulse mode in order to study planar and small-diameter cylindrical tungsten wire arrays at {approx}5 MA current levels and 50-60 ns implosion times as candidates for compact z-pinch radiation sources. A new vacuum hohlraum configuration has been proposed in which multiple z pinches are driven in parallel by a pulsed power generator. Each pinch resides in a separate return current cage, serving also as a primary hohlraum. A collection of such radiation sources surround a compact secondary hohlraum, which may potentially provide an attractive Planckian radiation source or house an inertial confinement fusion fuel capsule. Prior to studying this concept experimentally or numerically, advanced compact wire array loads must be developed and their scaling behavior understood. The 2008 Saturn planar array experiments extend the data set presented in Ref. [1], which studied planar arrays at {approx}3 MA, 100 ns in Saturn long pulse mode. Planar wire array power and yield scaling studies now include current levels directly applicable to multi-pinch experiments that could be performed on the 25 MA Z machine. A maximum total x-ray power of 15 TW (250 kJ in the main pulse, 330 kJ total yield) was observed with a 12-mm-wide planar array at 5.3 MA, 52 ns. The full data set indicates power scaling that is sub-quadratic with load current, while total and main pulse yields are closer to quadratic; these trends are similar to observations of compact cylindrical tungsten arrays on Z. We continue the investigation of energy coupling in these short pulse Saturn experiments using zero-dimensional-type implosion modeling and pinhole imaging, indicating 16 cm/?s implosion velocity in a 12-mm-wide array. The same phenomena of significant trailing mass and evidence for resistive heating are observed at 5 MA as at 3 MA. ...
Date: September 2008
Creator: Serrano, Jason Dimitri; Chuvatin, Alexander S.; Jones, M. C.; Vesey, Roger Alan; Waisman, Eduardo M.; Ivanov, V. V. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department