Target Formation and Integrated Experiments for Plasma-Jet Driven Magneto-Inertial Fusion
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) will lead a team that will test an innovative approach to controlled fusion energy production: plasma-jet driven magneto-inertial fusion (PJMIF). PJMIF uses a spherical array of plasma guns to produce an imploding supersonic plasma shell, or “liner,” which inertially compresses and heats a pre-injected magnetized plasma “target” in a bid to access the conditions for thermonuclear fusion. LANL will develop a magnetized target plasma for the approach at a smaller scale than would be needed for a reactor. The team will perform first integrated liner-on-target compression experiments at the LANL Plasma Liner Experiment facility. Compression and heating will be studied and compared with computer simulations. The experimental results will illuminate the viability and scaling behavior of this class of fusion devices with energy, plasma jet parameters, and reactor size, informing the prospects for future development and energy scaleup of this concept.
Accelerating and lowering the costs of fusion development and eventual deployment will enable fusion energy to contribute to:
Fusion energy will ensure the U.S.’s technological lead and energy security.
Fusion energy will improve our chances of meeting growing global clean-energy demand and realizing cost-effective, net-zero carbon emissions, while minimizing pollution and avoiding long-lived radioactive waste.
As a disruptive technology, fusion energy will likely create new markets, opportunities, and export advantages for the U.S.