Fusion as a way to generate energy is currently undergoing a renaissance in scientific interest. The approach called Magnetized Target Fusion, a hybrid between magnetic fusion and inertial confinement fusion, is currently pursued by General Fusion. At General Fusion, our scheme is to inject plasma into an evacuated cylindrical cavity surrounded by rotating molten lead-lithium which is contained within a steel vessel, and then to compress it to thermonuclear conditions by a shock wave generated by pneumatic pistons placed on the vessel.
This scheme was inspired from a project named ‘LINUS’, first developed by the US Naval Weapons Research Lab in Washington DC in the late 1970s. Hydrodynamic aspects of the project include but are not limited to (i) designing a lead pumping scheme that assures formation of a stable cylindrical void cavity inside the vessel, and (ii) propagation of the pressure waves followed by the cavity collapse.
This overview describes the results of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA) simulations that were carried out to deepen our understanding of mentioned above points (i) and (ii). Numerical results with regard to the cavity formation are qualitatively compared to our in-house experimental data, while for the pressure propagation and cavity collapse the results of CFD were compared to FEA simulations.
An Overview of Computational Results at General Fusion With Focus on Hydrodynamics
Suponitsky, V., et al, 2012. Proceedings of the 20th Annual Conference of the CFD Society of Canada. May 9-12, Canmore, Alberta.