Computational Modeling of Pulsed-Power-Driven Magnetized Target Fusion Experiments
LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LAB NM
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Direct magnetic drive using electrical pulsed power has been considered impractically slow for traditional inertial confinement implosion of fusion targets. However, if the target contains a preheated, magnetized plasma, magnetothermal insulation may allow the near-adiabatic compression of such a target to fusion conditions on a much slower time scale. 100-MJ-class explosive flux compression generators 1,2, with implosion kinetic energies far beyond those available with conventional fusion drivers, are an inexpensive means to investigate such magnetized target fusion MTF systems 3,4. One means of obtaining the preheated and magnetized plasma required for an MTF system is the recently reported MAGO concept 5,6. MAGO is a unique, explosive-pulsed-power driven discharge in two cylindrical chambers joined by an annular nozzle. Joint Russian-American MAGO experiments have reported D-T neutron yields in excess of 1013 from this plasma preparation stage alone, without going on to the proposed separately driven MTF implosion of the main plasma chamber. Two-dimensional MHD computational modeling of MAGO discharges shows good agreement to experiment. The calculations suggest that after the observed neutron pulse, a diffuse Z-pinch plasma with temperature in excess of 100 eV is created, which may be suitable for subsequent MTF implosion, in a heavy liner magnetically driven by explosive pulsed power. Other MTF concepts, such as fiber-initiated Z-pinch target plasmas, are also being computationally and theoretically evaluated. The status of our modeling efforts will be reported.
- Electric Power Production and Distribution
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics