Neutronics and photonics of inertial confinement fusion pellets with internal breeding

Magdi Ragheb, Doug Haseltine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The neutronics and photonics performance of a pellet with a small DT core spark trigger, surrounded by a large volume of D to enable tritium and He-3 breeding, is examined. The response to a 70% DD and 30% DT composite neutron spectrum is calculated using either W, Be, or Pb as structural materials at core density radius products ranging from 9.42 to 94.2 kg/m2. At a core density-product of 94.2, the DT neutron source leads to an excess particle multiplication of 0.43 neutrons per source neutron. The percentage of energy leakage from the pellet in the form of escaped neutrons is 42.3% of the source energy for the DT source, and 28.8% for the DD source. The gamma-ray energy percentage deposited in the pellet is 26.7% for the DT source and 106.6% for the DD source. For the pellet with the composite source, the energy multiplication factor is 1.27. Thus the large DD contribution to the composite neutron source results in the pellet performing many of the functions normally reserved for the blanket such as spectral softening, breeding, and neutron and energy multiplication. The neutron energy leakage is 38.4% of the source energy for the composite source. It is estimated that the neutron energy leakage amounts to 10% of the fusion energy, compared with 70% as neutron energy in a DT pellet. These results are significantly different from those encountered in conventional DT inertial confinement designs, and thus lower tritium inventories, higher power densities, reduced radiation damage, and materials activation of the reactor coolant and structure may be achievable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-302
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Fusion Energy
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 1983

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Keywords

  • Monte Carlo method
  • breeding ratio
  • fusion reactors
  • inertial confinement
  • neutron flux
  • neutron sources
  • thermonuclear reactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

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