Alternate approach to inertial confinement fusion with low tritium inventories and high power densities

Magdi Ragheb, George Miley, James Stubbins, Chan Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A low-tritium-inventory, high-power-density, pool-type chamber approach to inertial confinement fusion is introduced. The concept uses target designs with internal tritium and3He breeding, eliminating the need for a lithium-breeding blanket. The fraction of the fusion energy carried out by neutrons is estimated as 10%, compared with 70% in a typical D-T system, and the neutron spectrum is softer. Liquid metals other than lithium that are less chemically reactive, such as lead, can be used for first-wall protection. The reduced neutron component and the elimination of the need for a thick lithium blanket for tritium breeding lead to higher power densities and more compact chamber designs. The radiation damage at the first structural wall is reduced, leading to potentially longer wall lifetimes. A significant environmental advantage in terms of reduced radioactive release risks under operational and accident conditions is identified, primarily due to the one to two orders of magnitude reduction in the tritium inventories compared with D-T-based systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-351
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Fusion Energy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1985


  • advanced fuels
  • environmental effects
  • first wall
  • fusion
  • high power density
  • inertial confinement
  • liquid metals
  • lithium
  • monte carlo
  • neutron source
  • particle transport
  • pool-type reactor
  • radiation damage
  • radioactive releases
  • risk assessment
  • safety considerations
  • target designs
  • tritium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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