Fuel encapsulation for inertial electrostatic confinement nuclear fusion reactors.
Capanni, Niccolo Francesco
Gow, Kenneth S.
MetadataShow full item record
Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) is an approach to nuclear fusion which utilises the properties of electrostatically accelerated ion-beams instead of hot plasmas. The best known device which uses the principle is the Farnsworth-Hirsch fusor. It has been argued that such devices have some potential advantages in spaceflight and in-particular as power-supplies for trans-atmospheric propulsion. This paper builds on previous work in the field and focuses on how the fixing of the fuel for such reactors in a solid, liquid or encapsulated form may provide a high enough energy-density to make such devices practical power sources. Several methods of fixing the fuel are discussed; theoretical calculations are presented and applicable literature is reviewed. Finally, there is a discussion of practical issues and feasibility, together with suggestions for further work.