Lockheed Martin Compact Fusion Reactor
CFR plans to achieve high beta (the ratio of plasma pressure to the magnetic pressure) by combining cusp confinement and magnetic mirrors to confine the plasma. Cusps are sharply bent magnetic fields. Ideally, the plasma forms a sheath along the surface of the cusps and plasma leaks out along the axis and edges of the sharply bent field. The plasma lost along the edges recycles back into the cusps.
CFR uses two mirror sets. A pair of ring mirrors is placed inside the cylindrical reactor vessel at either end. The other mirror set encircles the reactor cylinder. The ring magnets produce a type of magnetic field known as a diamagnetic cusp, in which magnetic forces rapidly change direction and push the nuclei towards the midpoint between the two rings. The fields from the external magnets push the nuclei back towards the vessel ends.
Magnetic field strength is an increasing function of distance from the center. This implies that as the plasma pressure causes the plasma to expand, the magnetic field becomes stronger at the plasma edge, increasing containment.
CFR employs superconducting magnets. These allow strong magnetic fields to be created with less energy than conventional magnets. The CFR has no net current, which Lockheed claimed eliminates the prime source of plasma instabilities. The plasma has a favorable surface-to-volume ratio, which improves confinement. The plasma's small volume reduces the energy needed to achieve fusion.
The project plans to replace the microwave emitters that heat the plasma in their prototypes with neutral beam injection, in which electrically neutral deuterium atoms transfer their energy to the plasma. Once initiated, the energy from fusion maintains the necessary temperature for subsequent fusion events.
The eventual device may reach in width. 21 m The company claims that each design iteration is shorter and far lower cost than large-scale projects such as the Joint European Torus, ITER or NIF.
Ring magnets require protection from the plasma's neutron radiation. Plasma temperatures must reach many millions of kelvins. Superconducting magnets must be kept just above absolute zero to maintain superconductivity.
The "blanket" component that lines the reactor vessel has two functions: it captures the neutrons and transfers their energy to a coolant and forces the neutrons to collide with lithium atoms, transforming them into tritium to fuel the reactor. The blanket must be an estimated 80–150 cm thick and weigh 300–1000 tons.
The "prototype" was planned to be a 100-megawatt deuterium and tritium reactor measuring 7 by 10 feet (2.1 by 3.0 m) that could fit on the back of a large truck and would be about one tenth the size of current reactor prototypes. 100 megawatts is enough to provide power for 80,000 people. A series of prototypes were constructed to approach this goal.
Technical results presented on the T4 experiment in 2015 showed a cold, partially ionized plasma with the following parameters: peak electron temperature of 20 Electron volts, electron density, less than 1% ionization fraction and 1016 m−3 of input power. No confinement or fusion reaction rates were presented.[ 3 kWcitation needed]
McGuire presented two theoretical reactor concepts in 2015. One was an ideal configuration weighing 200 metric tons with 1 meter of cryogenic radiation shielding and 15 tesla magnets. The other was a conservative configuration weighing 2,000 metric tons, with 2 meters of cryogenic radiation shielding and 5 Tesla magnets.
The T4B prototype was announced in 2016.
- 1 m diameter × 2 m long
- 1 MW, 25 keV H-neutral beam heating power
- 3 ms duration
- Assume is converted into fast ions. 500 kW
- n = ×1019 m−35
- β = 1 (field = ) 0.1 T
- V = 0.2 m3, total energy 1170 J
- Peak Ti = 75 eV
- Peak Te = 250 eV
- Peak sheath loss = , about equal to Pei 228 kW
- Peak ring cusp loss = 15 kW
- Peak axial cusp loss = 1 kW
- 7 m diameter × 18 m long, 1 m thick blankets
- 320 MW gross
- 40 MW heating power, 2.3 s
- n = ×1020 m−35
- β = 1 (field = 2.3 T)
- V = 16.3 m3, 51 MJ total energy
- Ti = 9.6 keV
- Te = 12.6 keV
Physics professor and director of the UK's national Fusion laboratory Steven Cowley called for more data, pointing out that the current thinking in fusion research is that "bigger is better". Other fusion reactors achieve 8 times improvement in heat confinement when machine size is doubled.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lockheed Martin Compact Fusion Reactor.|
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