Application of Plasma-Window Technology to Enable an Ultra-High-Flux DT Neutron Source
Project Innovation + Advantages:
No technology available today can provide the neutron flux, energy spectrum, and other characteristics required to test and qualify materials’ performance under prototypical fusion operating conditions. The fusion community acknowledges the need for a materials test facility soon or risk a crippling impact on the ability to effectively design and test a fusion pilot plant. Phoenix will seek to increase the neutron flux by a factor of 100 over that of state-of-the-art beam-target fusion neutron sources by developing and testing a plasma window (PW) to enable an increase in the pressure of the gas target. The PW should be ready for integration with a commercial steady-state, gas-target neutron generator by project end. This combination may ultimately enable a cost-effective, groundbreaking, “fusion prototypic neutron source” to generate the representative neutron-irradiation environment of a fusion power plant. This will enable tests to accelerate fusion materials and small-component development, offering the potential to reduce the technical, financial, and regulatory risks of fusion-energy technologies.
Successful development of fusion energy science and technology could lead to a safe, carbon-free, abundant energy source for developed and emerging economies.