Hybrid Fusion-Fission System with Neutron Source Based on Deuterium Plasma

Authors: Chirkov A.Yu. Published: 07.06.2020
Published in issue: #3(132)/2020  

DOI: 10.18698/0236-3941-2020-3-94-104

Category: Power Engineering | Chapter: Nuclear Power Plants, Fuel Cycle, Radiation Safety  
Keywords: deuterium, fusion neutrons, hybrid reactor, magnetic confinement, plasma, energy balance

Development of hybrid fusion-fission systems appears today as a promising area in practical use of thermonuclear fusion energy. Thermonuclear plasma in such systems is the source of fast neutrons with the power gain factor Q < 1 power amplification factor in plasma. Hybrid system high amplification is generally achieved through nuclear reactions in the subcritical blanket surrounding plasma. Not only power could be produced in such a blanket, but also nuclear fuel, and waste of the nuclear fuel cycle could be disposed. The problem of systems using the thermonuclear reaction between deuterium and tritium lies in the lack of tritium reserves and in the limited possibilities of its production. Therefore, the work considers organization of a fuel cycle based on the deuterium-deuterium reaction. Options of a neutron source based on tokamak and linear system of the open trap type were examined. Magnitude of the socalled hybrid system electrical efficiency (ratio of the system electrical output to the blanket thermal power) was estimated. Calculations demonstrated fundamental possibility of realizing substantial neutron yield from deuterium plasma. To achieve acceptable performance, power gain in thermonuclear plasma should be Q = 0.5--1. In a tokamak of reasonable scale and when working on deuterium, the gain should be Q ~ 0.3. Potential advantages of linear systems associated with the possibility of high-pressure plasma confinement are presented


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