What Is Deuterium-Tritium Fusion Reactor Fuel?



The fusion of deuterium (D) and tritium (T) atoms has been shown in the laboratory to produce the highest energy gains at the “lowest” temperature. Credit: ITER

Fusion energy It has the potential to provide safe, clean and almost unlimited power.Nevertheless Nuclear fusion reaction It can occur in nuclei that are lighter than iron. Most elements do not fuse unless they are inside the star.To create Combustion plasma In an experimental fusion power reactor such as Tokamak When StellaratorScientists want fuels that are relatively easy to manufacture, store, and fuse.The current best policy for fusion reactors is Deuterium-tritium fuel.. This fuel reaches fusion conditions at a lower temperature than other elements and emits more energy than other fusion reactions.

Deuterium and tritium Isotope Of hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe. All isotopes of hydrogen have one proton, but deuterium also has one neutron, and tritium has two neutrons, so their ion mass is an isotope of hydrogen without neutrons. It is heavier than Protium. The fusion of deuterium and tritium produces a helium nucleus with two protons and two neutrons. This reaction emits high-energy neutrons. Fusion power plants convert the energy emitted from fusion reactions into electricity to power our homes, businesses and other needs.

Hydrogen isotope

All isotopes of hydrogen have only one proton in the nucleus, but the number of neutrons varies.Credit: Image courtesy of General Atomics

Fortunately, deuterium is common. About one of the 5,000 hydrogen atoms in seawater is in the form of deuterium. This means that our oceans contain large amounts of deuterium. When fusion power becomes a reality, just one gallon of seawater can produce as much energy as 300 gallons of gasoline.

Tritium Radioactive It decays relatively rapidly (half-life is 12 years) and is a rare isotope in nature. Fortunately, exposure of the richer elements of lithium to high-energy neutrons can produce tritium. When a fusion power plant is in operation, concentrated lithium is needed to propagate the tritium needed to close the deuterium-tritium fuel cycle. Current R & D efforts are focused on the advanced design of tritium breeding blankets using lithium originally obtained from earth-based sources.

Deuterium-Tritium Fuel Facts

  • Water made from deuterium is about 10 percent heavier than normal water. Therefore, it is sometimes called “heavy water”. It actually sinks to the bottom of a glass of ordinary water.
  • Sources of tritium on Earth include spontaneous generation by interaction with cosmic rays, energy-producing fission reactors such as the heavy water CANDU reactor, and nuclear tests.
  • To avoid certain R & D challenges, including damage to structural materials by energy neutrons, fusion scientists have stated that fusion reactions (deuterium-), even when fusion reactions occur at ion temperatures higher than deuterium. I am also interested in helium-3 and proton-boron fusion, etc.). Tritium.

DOE Science Bureau: Contribution to Deuterium-Tritium Fuel

Part of the mission of the Fusion Energy Science (FES) program of the Department of Science of the Ministry of Energy is to develop a practical fusion energy source. FES works with Advanced Scientific Computing Research programs that use scientific computing to advance fusion science and understand the effects of different ion masses. plasma phenomenon.At a science bureau user facility like DIII-D With tokamak NSTX-U Spherical tokamak, scientists are studying the effects of ion mass on plasma confinement, transport, and turbulence. Confinement of fusion products such as helium ions is also studied in the presence of spiral magnetic fields. The Office of Science Nuclear Physics program develops basic nuclear science that supports the understanding of fusion by creating a nuclear reaction database, generating nuclear isotopes, and elucidating aspects of nucleosynthesis.

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What Is Deuterium-Tritium Fusion Reactor Fuel? Source link What Is Deuterium-Tritium Fusion Reactor Fuel?

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