Prospects for Low Cost Fusion Development and Addendum
This document reports on an ARPA-E-sponsored JASON assessment of the “Prospects for Low Cost Fusion Development.” Specifically, the question is whether magneto-inertial fusion (MIF) is a promising approach toward achieving controlled thermonuclear fusion at dramatically lower costs than other approaches. MIF operates at ion densities from 1018 – 1023 ions/cm3, part-way between the main-line approaches of Magnetic Confinement Fusion (MCF, 1014 ions/cm3) and Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF, 1026 ions/cm3). MIF techniques combine aspects of the two main-line approaches: magnetic fields are used to suppress cross-field particle and heat transport, as in MCF. Impulsive mechanical compression is used to reach high density and temperature, as in ICF. If MIF research is found to be promising, how can the government best support progress?