In fusion-fission hybridization, fusion
neutrons produce U-233 from thorium
for use as start up fuel and make up
fuel for fission power plants, especially
molten salt reactors using thorium.

Fusion-Fission

Fusion-fission hybrid papers and proceedings

In the early 1950s, both fission and fusion processes were under serious study, and ways to combine them, that is hybridize them, began.
By 1974 the studies had matured to the point that a review meeting was held. This collection of reports will help readers brief themselves on
past work.

The following three proceedings summarize the early work up to 1977.

DCTR Fusion-fission energy review meeting Dec 3 and 4, 1974 ERDA, Germantown, Maryland, Conceptual Fusion-Fission Energy Systerm,
ERDA-4 UC-20, Edited by S. Locke Bogart, 382 pages.

Proceedings US-USSR symposium on fusion-fission reactors, July 13-16, 1976, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, Livermore, California
LLL-ERDA, CONF-760733, 272 pages.

• Proceedings of the Second Fusion-Fission Energy Systems Review Meeting, Nov 2 and 3, 1977, Washington, D.C. July 1978, U.S.
Department of Energy, Edited by S. Locke Bogart, 578 pages. Volume I and Volume II .

POWER VERSUS FUEL PRODUCTION.

The question of hybrids designed to produce fuel for fission reactors or electrical power only
or some combination of both was studied in a 544 page report. Because fusion reactors tend to be more expensive to build than fission reactors,
the power only option was not found economically favorable unless the plant size was very large to obtain strong economy of scale.
Tenney et al., “A systems study of tokamak fusion-fission reactors,” PPPL-1450 (1978) 544 pages.

Laser fusion as a fuel producer. A laser fusion neutron source with a lead neutron multiplier was studied for fuel production and power.
SOLASE-H A LASER FUSION HYBRID STUDY R. W. Conn et al., 1979, UWFDM-270.

LLNL COORDINATED STUDIES 1978-1984.

A coordinated set of studies followed involving Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,
PPPL, ORNL, INL, ANL, GA GE, W and Bechtel among others. The following reports document some of this work.

A yin-yang coil magnetic mirror with a fast fission fuel producing blanket provided enough energy multiplication and fuel sales to make the
low gain (Q=1) system close to economical. D. J. Bender, K. R. Schultz, et al., “Reference design for the standard mirror hybrid reactor,”
UCRL-52478, GA-A14796 (1978). 542 pages.

The new magnetic mirror configuration, Tandem mirror, formed the basis for this design that had large enough Q values so that high energy
multiplication by fission was not necessary and the ideas of fuel production while suppressing fissioning by use of beryllium neutron
multiplications was employed. The team involved GA, GE, Bechtel and LLNL. R. W. Moir, et al., “Tandem Mirror Hybrid Reactor Design Study
Final Report”, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, UCID-18808 (1980). 636 pages

The ideas evolved further resulting in this well documented report: J. D. Lee, et al., “Feasibility Study of a Fission-Suppressed Tandem-Mirror
Hybrid Reactor”, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, UCID-19327 (1982). Part 1. Part 2.

The ideas further evolved with examples using liquid lithium as a neutron multiplier. D. H. Berwald, et al., “Fission-Suppressed Hybrid
Reactor-The Fusion Breeder”, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, UCID-19638 (1982).

The above three reports that are each over 30 mm thick are summarized in the following: R. W. Moir et al., “Fusion breeder reactor design
studies,” Nuclear Technology/Fusion, 4 (1983) 589-598.

FISSION SUPPRESSED FUEL PRODUCERS

“Fission-Suppressed Blanket for Fissile Fuel Breeding Fusion Reactors,” J.D. Lee and R.W. Moir, J.Fusion Energy, 1 299 (1981).

“The Fusion Breeder,” R.W. Moir, Journal of Fusion Energy, 2 (1982) 351-362.

Two studies, one for the tandem mirror and a very similar design for the tokamak, were carried out in the last days of the fusion-fission studies
before they were stopped.

• Tandem mirror: R. W. Moir, et al., “Helium-Cooled Molten Salt Fusion Breeder”, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA,
UCID-20153 (1984), 204 pages. A small version of the above appears in Fusion Technology, 8, 1985, 8 pages.

• Tokamak: R. W. Moir, et al., “Feasibility Study of a Fission-Suppressed Tokamak Fusion Breeder”, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,
Livermore, CA, UCID-20154 (1984).

R.W. Moir, “The Fusion-Fission Fuel Factory” Chapter 15, p. 411-451, in Fusion, Vol. 1 Part B, edited by E. Teller, Academic Press, New York (1981).

TRITIUM PRODUCING FUSION REACTOR STUDIES.

The DOE studied many options for a replacement production reactor with the idea of replacing the Savannah River reactor. The team carried
out design studies of relatively low technology tandem mirror and a tokamak fusion machines to produce tritium.

R. W. Moir, et al., “Study of a Magnetic Fusion Production Reactor”, A series of eight articles on tritium production.
J. Fusion Energy, 5, 255-331 (1986) and 6, 3-88 (1987).

Editorial, Ralph W. Moir, J. Fusion Energy, 5, 255 (1986)

Feasibility Study of a Magnetic Fusion Production Reactor, R. W. Moir, J. Fusion Energy, 5, 257-269 (1986)

Mechanical Design of a Magnetic Fusion Production Reactor, W. S. Neef and D. L. Jassby, J. Fusion Energy, 5, 271-316 (1986).

Nuclear Design and Analysis of a Magnetic Fusion Production Reactor, J. D. Lee, J. Fusion Energy, 5, 317-326 (1986).

Radiation Effects in Be and AI for a Magnetic Fusion Production Reactor J. B. Mitchell, J. Fusion Energy, 5, 327-331 (1986).

Fusion Technology for a Magnetic Fusion Production Reactor R. B. Campbell, D. L. Jassby, and S. A. Freije, J. Fusion Energy, 6, 5-57 (1987).

Economic Analysis of a Magnetic Fusion Production Reactor, J. D. Lee, 6, 59-64 (1987).

Selection of a Toroidal Fusion Reactor Concept for a Magnetic Fusion Production Reactor, D. L. Jassby, 6, 65-88 (1987).

IN 1987 AN ACADEMY STUDY CHAIRED BY JOHN SIMPSON REVIEWED THE HYBRID WORK.

“Outlook for the Fusion Hybrid and Tritium-Breeding Fusion Reactor.” The fusion-fission hybrid studies ended with this work and like
Rip van Winkle, the field slept for twenty years.

Researchers began to increase interest in hybrids. For example, fuel production: P-H. Rebut, From JET to the reactor,“Plasma Phys. Control.”
Fusion 48 (2006) B1-B13.

Ed Cheng’s papers: E.T. Cheng, “Performance characteristics of actinide-burning fusion power plants,” Fusion Science and Technology 47
(2005) 1219-1223.

MANHEIMER PAPERS. Other examples of fuel production by Wallace Manheimer
“The Case for Fission-Suppressed Hybrid Fusion,” Physics & Society: April 2011
“Can Fusion and Fission Breeding Help Civilization Survive?” Journal of Fusion Energy, Vol 25, No3/4 (Dec 2006). 34 pages
“The fusion hybrid as key to sustainable development”, Journal of Fusion Energy, Vol 23, No4 (December 2004) 13 pages
“An alternate development path for magnetic fusion”, Journal of Fusion Energy, Vol 20, No4 (Dec 2001) 4 pages
“Back to the future: The historical, scientific, naval, and environmental case for fission fusion”, Fusion Technology, Vol 16 (July 1999) 15 pages
“Hybrid fusion: The only viable development path for tokamaks?”, Journal of Fusion Energy 28 2009. 54 pages
“Advanced technology paths to global climate stability: Energy for a greenhouse planet”, Martin I. Hoffert, Wally Manheimer et al., Science,
Review: Engineering, Vol 298 (November 2002) 7 pages
MCNAMARA PAPERS. Brendan McNamara’s thoughts on the role of fusion-fission hybrids in a nuclear energy future.
Nuclear Power:
Fissile Fuel Supply Gaps 2009
Techological Paths to Limiting Climate Change 2007
A Nuclear Materials Authority 2007
Uranium – What is to be Done? 2006
Nuclear Power in the UK 21st Century Energy Mix 2006
Futures for Nuclear Power 2005
The Coming Energy Winter: Futures for Nuclear Power 2005
The Future of Nuclear Power: Facing Opposition 2005

COMPACT FUSION.
A Design Framework for Compact Fusion Systems to Burn Fission Product Wastes 2009
The Coming Energy Winter and the Role of Fusion, no date
A Briefing on Futures With Fisson & Fusion 2008
Physics and Engineering Basis of Multi-functional Compact Tokamak Reactor Concept, no date
Practical Fusion Now! 2008

Stacey – Georgia Tech papers: Super conducting tokamaks are suggested to burn nuclear waste.

University of Texas: A relatively low technology, copper coil tokamak magnetic fusion neutron source, is studied for transmuting fission
wastes. M. Kotschenreuther, P.M. Valanju, S.M. Mahajan, E.A. Schneider, “Fusion-Fission Transmutation Scheme-Efficient Destruction of
Nuclear Waste.” Fusion Engineering and Design 84 (2009) 83-88.

Nonproliferation:
R. W. Moir. Production of U-232 and U-233 in a fusion-fission hybrid, Vallecitos Molten Salt Research Report No. 3 (December 21, 2010),
37 pages.

R. W. Moir. “Fission-suppressed fusion, thorium-cycle breeder and nonproliferation,” 15th International Conference on Emerging Nuclear
Energy Systems ICENES 2011 May 15-19, 2011 San Francisco, Transactions of Fusion Science and Technology, 61, 243-249 (January 2012).

Recent additions:
R. W. Moir. Conference Report on Hybrid Fusion-Fission Systems, Washington DC, 2009. 224 pages

R. W. Moir, N.N. Martovetsky, A.W. Molvik, D.D. Ryutov, T.C. Simonen. “Axisymmetric Magnetic Mirror Fusion-Fission Hybrid,”
15th International Conference on Emerging Nuclear Energy Systems ICENES 2011 May 15-19, 2011 San Francisco, Transactions of Fusion
Science and Technology 61, 206-215 (January 2012).

R. W. Moir, N.N. Martovetsky, A.W. Molvik, D D. Ryutov, T C. Simonen. “Axisymmetric Magnetic Mirror Fusion-Fission Hybrid,” 6/7/2011,
LLNL report LLNL-TR-484071, 63 pages.

R. W. Moir, “Fission-Suppressed Fusion Breeder on the Thorium Cycle and Nonproliferation,” FUNFI, Workshop on Fusion for Neutrons and
Sub-critical Nuclear Fission, Villa Monastero, Varenna, Italy, September 12-15, 2011, AIP Conference Proceedings 1442, 346-355, Vallecitos
Molten Salt Research Report No. 4 (2011) and talk.

R. W. Moir, N. N. Martovetsky, A. W. Molvik, D. D. Ryutov, T. C. Simonen, “Mirror-based hybrids of recent design,” FUNFI, Workshop on
Fusion for Neutrons and Sub-critical Nuclear Fission, Villa Monastero, Varenna, Italy, September 12-15, 2011, AIP Conference Proceedings
1442, 43-54 (2012) and talk.

T.C. Simonen, R.W. Moir, A.W. Molvik and D.D. Ryutov, “A 14MeV fusion neutron source for material and blanket development and fission fuel production,” Nucl. Fusion 53 (2013).

 

 


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