Laser Produced Plasmas with Fissionable Material

  • F. Winterberg


The compression of a pellet consisting of fissionable material, such as U233, U235 or Pu239, to high densities by a laser (or possibly relativistic electron-) beam induced implosion, will lead to very small critical masses. The critical mass can be furthermore substantially reduced by simultaneously compressing the pellet together with a neutron reflector. By this method microfission-explosions can be triggered which can be used for controlled power production as for a safe fast breeder reactor or for rocket propulsion. In addition, if the neutron reflector consists of thermonuclear material, such as T-D, the controlled release of thermonuclear energy becomes possible. In this case the fission chain reaction not only will assist in the ignition of the thermonuclear reaction but in turn the neutrons released in the fusion process will accelerate the fission chain reaction to a very fast pace. Both processes, the fission chain reaction and the fusion process are thus coupled in a bootstrap mode greatly increasing the energy output.


Neutron Flux Critical Mass Critical Radius Fission Neutron Fission Reaction 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Winterberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Desert Research InstituteUniversity of Nevada SystemRenoUSA

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