Comments to «A non-thermal laser-driven mixed fuel nuclear fusion reactor concept» by H. Ruhl and G. Korn (Marvel Fusion, Munich)

Por • 19 sep, 2022 • Sección: Ciencia y tecnología

Karl Lackner

The declared aim of Marvel Fusion is the realization of a reactor based on the aneutronic fusion of proton and boron-11 nuclei in the near future, making use of latest-day laser technology and nano-structured materials. The aim of the preprint quoted above is to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy gain from the irradiation of an initially uncompressed target consisting of an array of nano-wires, by a femto-second laser. This proposal is in apparent contrast to text-book wisdom, which postulates – even for the fast-ignitor concept, and a DT fuel mix – a target density about 1000 times that of solid state. The novel, optimistic predictions of Ruhl and Korn are based, however, not on rigorous estimates, but only on parametric dependencies, extrapolated far beyond their conventional limits of validity. The authors invoke the effects of self-arising magnetic fields to result in additional magnetic confinement, but we show their model to contain intrinsic contradictions. The conclusion from out note is that ultra-fast, high power lasers can be of use to inertial fusion energy production only, if the intrinsic time-scale for fusion reactions can be brought down to a level more commensurate with the Laser pulse length. Involving magnetic fields does not change this basic limitation, as the Alfvén time will be similar to the kinetic disintegration time. Given that the fusion energy gain as function of particle energy has a maximum (for DT at about 170 keV) overheating will not be helpful so that the required enhancement of the fusion reaction rate can only be achieved by strong pre-compression of the target.

arXiv:2204.00269v2 [physics.plasm-ph]
Plasma Physics (physics.plasm-ph)

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