Reducing neutron emission from small fusion rocket engines

S. A. Cohen, M. Chu-Cheong, R. Feder, K. Griffin, M. Khodak, J. Klabacha, E. Meier, S. Newbury, M. Paluszek, T. Rognlien, S. Thomas, M. Walsh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Scopus citations


The mainstream efforts to generate electrical power via fusion, represented by the ITER and NIF projects, would use a deuterium-tritium (D-T) fuel mixture to produce energy; the neutrons therein generated would breed the needed tritium. Such approaches to fusion power are predicted to result in large, massive (> 500 mT), and high power (GW) reactors, ill suited for spacecraft missions envisaged for this century. We have been investigating a different fusion reactor concept based on an advanced-fuel (D-3He), RF-heated, field-reversed configuration (FRC) and find that small, relatively low power (1-10 MW) reactors with high specific power are possible and are suitable for a variety of missions throughout the solar system and beyond. Herein we describe the methods to reduce neutron emission to below 1% of the fusion power, thereby reducing the thickness of shielding required to 20 cm and increasing the longevity of the components and the specific power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication66th International Astronautical Congress 2015, IAC 2015
Subtitle of host publicationSpace - The Gateway for Mankind's Future
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781510818934
StatePublished - 2015
Event66th International Astronautical Congress 2015: Space - The Gateway for Mankind's Future, IAC 2015 - Jerusalem, Israel
Duration: Oct 12 2015Oct 16 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
ISSN (Print)0074-1795


Conference66th International Astronautical Congress 2015: Space - The Gateway for Mankind's Future, IAC 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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