Outcomes from RFX-mod, the largest Reversed Field Pinch (RFP) experiment, have shown a substantial increase of the electron and ion temperatures versus the plasma current with a trend that allows hypothesizing significant D-T fusion processes in larger devices with higher plasma current. Such a device, in which the plasma is purely ohmically heated, could act as an efficient, robust and cheap fusion neutron source with a neutron rate to be used as the basis for a Fusion-Fission Hybrid Reactor (FFHR). The peculiar features of this neutron source can be summarized as: ohmically heated plasma, toroidal field winding rated for a low magnetic field (one-two orders of magnitude lower than in Tokamaks), very simple, robust and cheap construction, simple access for Remote Handling and easy maintenance. Almost continuous neutron production, as required in a hybrid reactor, is guaranteed by a continuously pulsed operation without the need of additional current drive systems. The aim of the paper is to investigate the relationship between the machine size (major and minor device radius), the attainable stored volt-seconds and, consequently, the maximum plasma current and pulse duration. The analysis uses the experimental RFX-mod data (electron temperatures, plasma currents, loop voltages during flat top) to extrapolate the performances of larger RFP devices with significant neutron production from D-T reactions. This study shows a realistic possibility, in an inductively operated RFP of larger size than RFX-mod, with plasma current 15–20 MA and temperature ≈ 10–15 keV, to reach the level of neutron generation of a fusion-fission hybrid reactor, leading to a neutron production rate in the range of 1019n/s and a wall neutron load of 0.2 MW/m2.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanical Engineering
Piovan, R., Bettini, P., Bustreo, C., Casagrande, R., Cavazzana, R., Escande, D. F., Puiatti, M. E., Valisa, M., Zollino, G., & Zuin, M. (Accepted/In press). A continuously pulsed Reversed Field Pinch core for an ohmically heated hybrid reactor. Fusion Engineering and Design, -. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fusengdes.2018.05.040