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Possibility for Gaining Nuclear Energy Without Radioactivity by Laser Driven Block Ignition of Solid Density Hydrogen Boron

[+] Author Affiliations
Henrich Hora

University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

George H. Miley

University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

Paper No. ICONE18-29943, pp. 611-620; 10 pages
  • 18th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • 18th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering: Volume 6
  • Xi’an, China, May 17–21, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4934-7
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


In addition to the matured “Laser Inertial Fusion Energy (LIFE)” with spherical compression of deuterium-tritium (DT) for a pure fusion engine or for fusion-fission-hybrid operation, a very new scheme may have now been opened by igniting the neutron-free reaction of proton-boron-11 (p-11 B) using side-on block ignition. Laser pulses of several petawatt power and ps duration led to the discovery of an anomaly of interaction, if the prepulses are cut off by a factor 108 (contrast ratio) to avoid relativistic self focusing. In this case the Bobin-Chu conditions of side-on ignition of solid fusion fuel can be applied after several improvements leading to energy gains of 10,000 similar to the Nuckolls-Wood ignition with extremely intense 5 MeV electron beams. In contrast to the impossible laser-ignition of p-11 B by the usual spherical compression, the side-on ignition is less than ten times only more difficult of DT ignition. This p-11 B fusion produces less radioactivity per gained energy than burning coal. After encouraging success with computations based on the different nuclear cross sections, next steps are focusing on stability and transport problems.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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