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Heavy Ion Fusion Research


Research on Powerful Heavy Ion Fusion Facility Based on Accelerator Developments in Europe and Russia

Tech Area / Field

  • FUS-ICS/Inertial Confinement Systems/Fusion

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Ryabeva E V

Leading Institute
VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov

Supporting institutes

  • ITEF (ITEP), Russia, Moscow


  • Universität Frankfurt am Main / Institut für Theoretische Physik, Germany, Frankfurt\nDarmstadt University of Technology / Institute of Nuclear Physics, Germany, Darmstadt\nUniversidad Politechnica de Madrid / Escuela Tecnica Superior de Ingenieros Industriales, Spain, Madrid

Project summary

The results of study carried out in Europe, USA, Japan and other countries show the heavy ion accelerators for inertial confinement fusion to be a promising alternative to other paths towards fusion energy production. The main advantage is the use of reliable, stable operating with high repetition rate and high efficiency accelerators as energy drivers.

Configuration of the facility and the design of the target with the parameters suitable for the use in future projects of energy productions are supported by ISTC project #154 expiring March 1998. The methods of numerical simulation of heavy-ion target operation have been developed. The numerical simulations for operation and parameters of targets at 10-20 MJ energy of ion beam are carried out with the use of one-, two- and three-dimensional mathematical codes.

Technology has been developed and experiments are carried out on "ISKRA-5" laser facility in order to simulate basic processes in the selected configurations of targets.

The attainment of this very high energy level of heavy-ion accelerators providing reliable ignition of fusion reaction will consist of several stages. As a first step hi realization of full-scale facility European Study Group develops a project for heavy-ion beam energy of 2-3 MJ, which is close to the beam energy of the facilities being developed on the basis of powerful lasers. As possible fusion target design for this project we have accepted the configuration proposed in Frankfurt University and the <Russian> modification of the configuration. Taking into account the experience in the field of Heavy Ion inertial fusion, the unique scientific and technical potential of VNIIEF and ITEP, we propose the project on the investigation of feasibility and necessary conditions for thermonuclear ignition while using the accelerators with 2-3 MJ output energy of heavy ion beams as well as on the development of proposals for experimental studies on fundamental physics of high energy density in matter in frame of heavy-ion inertial fusion by using of accelerators of lower output power which are under consideration in GSI (Darmstadt, Germany) and ITEP (Moscow, Russia).

The project proposed is based on the planned developments of powerful heavy-ion accelerators. The project is a component part of wide international collaboration of Russian, European and American scientists. The project includes:

- numerical simulations of thermonuclear ignition feasibility for target designs with two and several converters (<Frankfurt> and <Russian> targets) by using the heavy-ion driver, being suggested by European Study Group, with Ebeam = 2-3 MJ and Eion-10 GeV;
- numerical simulations and development of magnetized cylindrical targets for experiments on the GSI and ITEP future powerful heavy-ion accelerator facilities with output beam energy 20-50 kJ, the investigations and search for other target designs.
- analysis and investigations on fundamental physics of high energy density in matter in frame of inertial confinement fusion with the use of heavy-ion accelerators, being developed by GSI and ITEP, with E = 20-50kJ:
- investigations of shock compression of the matter and shock waves in plasmas;
- investigations of ion beam energy conversion into radiation;
- heavy ion stopping in dense plasma;
- thermodynamic processes in expanding plasmas;
- investigations of accelerator techniques for obtaining the necessary phase space density of heavy ion beams for the experiments on high energy density in matter;
- experimental simulations of heavy-ion fusion target operation on ISKRA-5 laser facility.
- investigations and development of intense sources of heavy and medium mass ions for powerful accelerators.

The project will allow to switch the efforts of scientists and specialists employed in weapons science and industry to investigations of the fundamental scientific problems, i.e. to use their experience and scientific potential for peaceful purposes. The project will also favour the further integration of Russian nuclear specialists to the international community of scientists.

In consequence of the project execution we plan to obtain new numerical and experimental data necessary for development of the facility with heavy-ion driver of 2-3 MJ energy. The results of the project will also favour the choice of optimum performance of experiments with the use of heavy-ion accelerators, being developed by GSI and ITEP, at beam energy of few tens of kilojoules. These results will allow refining heavy-ion accelerator parameters necessary for fusion ignition as well as to specify the prospects of thermonuclear burn on heavy-ion Ignition Test Facility.

We plan to study the fusion target operation and the performance of the experiments on powerful accelerators, being under development in GSI and ITEP, numerically on the VIIEF computer bases, in ITEP and experimentally on "ISKRA-5" laser facility (VNIIEF). We plan to study in ITEP theoretically the problems of the heavy-ion driver operation and experimentally continue research and development of intense ion sources.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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