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Repetitive Pulse Accelerator Technology for Light Ion Inertial Confinement Fusion

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1 Author(s)
Buttram, M.T. ; Sandia National Laboratories P. O. Box 5800 Albuquerque, NM 87185

Successful ignition of an inertial confinement fusion (ICF) pellet is calculated to require that several megajoules of energy be deposited in the pellet's centimeter-sized shell within 10 ns. This implies a driver power of several hundreds of terawatts and power density around 100 TW/cm2 . The Sandia ICF approach is to deposit the energy with beams of 30 MV lithium ions. The first accelerator capable of producing these beams (PBFA II, 100 TW) will be used to study beam formation and target physics on a single pulse basis. To utilize this technology for power production, repetitive pulsing at rates that may be as high as 10 Hz will be required. This paper will overview the technologies being studied for a repetitively pulsed ICF accelerator. As presently conceived, power is supplied by rotating machinery providing 16 MJ in 1 ms. The generator output is transformed to 3 MV, then switched into a pulse compression system using laser triggered spark gaps. These must be synchronized to about 1 ns. Pulse compression is performed with saturable inductor switches, the output being 40 ns, 1.5 MV pulses. These are transformed to 30 MV in a self-magnetically insulated cavity adder structure. Space charge limited ion beams are drawn from anode plasmas with electron counter streaming being magnetically inhibited. The ions are ballistically focused into the entrances of guiding discharge channels for transport to the pellet. The status of component development from the prime power to the ion source will be reviewed.

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Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 5 )