The utility of extracting alpha particle power, and then diverting this power to fast fuel ions, is investigated. As power is diverted to fast ions and then to ions, a number of effects come into play, as the relative amounts of pressure taken up by electrons, fuel ions and fast alpha particles shift. In addition, if the alpha particle power is diverted to fast fuel ions, there is an enhanced fusion reactivity because of the non-thermal component of the ion distribution. Some useful expressions for describing these effects are derived, and it is shown that fusion reactors with power density about twice what otherwise might be obtained can be contemplated, so long as a substantial amount of the alpha particle power can be diverted. Interestingly, in this mode of operation, once the electron heat is sufficiently confined, further improvement in confinement is actually not desirable. A similar improvement in fusion power density can be obtained for advanced fuel mixtures such as D-3He, where the power of both the energetic alpha particles and the energetic protons might be diverted advantageously.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics