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Environmental and industrial applications of pulsed power systems

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1 Author(s)
Neau, E.L. ; Sandia Nat. Labs., Albuquerque, NM, USA

The technology base formed by the development of high peak power simulators, laser drivers, free electron lasers, and inertial confinement fusion drivers from the early 60's through the late 80's is being extended to high average power short-pulse machines with the capabilities of performing new roles in environmental cleanup applications and in supporting new types of industrial manufacturing processes. In this paper we briefly discuss a new class of short-pulse high average power accelerators, now operating in laboratory environments, using semiconductor and magnetic switches to achieve megavolt electron and ion beams with 10's of kiloamperes of current and average power levels in excess of 100 kW. The technology is modular, robust in concept, and appears to be suitable for extension to the megawatt power level. The modularity allows the same technology to accelerate electron and ion beams with pulses a few 10's of nanoseconds wide with potentials of one to 10's of MeV's and, by using fewer compression stages, also to drive applications requiring pulse widths of 100 nanoseconds to microseconds at accelerating potentials of 250 keV or more. The longer pulse applications, such as drivers for pulsed corona reactors for flue gas cleanup, require high average power and also benefit from the long life, high efficiency pulse compression technology. After a brief introduction to the technology, the paper then concentrates on specific application areas that are being explored because of the availability of the high specific energies and high average powers attainable with this new family of short-pulse machines

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 1 )