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Nuclear Fusion on Polarized Deuterium and Helium-3


Creation of the Facility for the Investigation of Nuclear Fusion Reactions (d+d, d+3He) at Low (10...100 keV) Energies and Polarized Initial Particles.

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-ANU/Atomic and Nuclear Physics/Physics

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Malakhov Yu I

Leading Institute
Nuclear Physics Institute, Russia, Leningrad reg., Gatchina


  • Paul Scherer Institute, Switzerland, Villigen\nForschungszentrum Jülich GmbH / Institute fuer Kernphysik, Germany, Jülich

Project summary

The reactions of thermonuclear fusion in d+d 3He+n, d+t 4He+n, d+3He 4He+p in plasma at energies from several keV to 100 keV play a key role both in astrophysics problems (primordial nucleosynthesis, internal energy of stars) and in practical problem of the thermonuclear reactor development. Experimental data of these reactions measured mainly with unpolarized colliding nuclei. In meantime, effects of polarization can make a sizable influence on the magnitude of the cross sections. Changes in the absolute value of the cross section even by several percents can produce a considerable changes in parameters of future thermonuclear reactors. At the less energies the polarized particle cross section is less. However, it is expected that in d+3He reaction, a formation of intermediate nucleus 5Li provides a resonance enhancement of the cross section at certain energies. [1] Theoretical calculations of this cross section are extremely complicated and an accuracy of such calculations is not quite well known. Only direct experimental measurement of these cross sections can give a definite answer. For above mentioned astrophysical and engineering aspects of thermonuclear reactions it is very important to measure cross sections for the case of two polarized initial nuclei.

In this project is represented the experimental installation, on which it is possible to execute these measurements, which till now were not made. [2]. It is necessary to note, that the offered collective of the participants of the project from PNPI RAS carried out all works in the project 1861, which is successfully completed. By results of the project 1861 also there was an offer - on the basis of the developed source of the polarized deuterium atoms [3] to create the installation providing study of reaction of synthesis of polarized atoms and also, using a technique of reception of the polarized atoms 3-He [4], [5] to carry out reaction d+3He 4He+p, which is more perspective for use in nuclear fusion owing to absence of neutron radiation.

The reaction d+t=4He+p is accompanied by neutron radiation. Besides, as an initial product is used tritium - being a radioactive element, that also creates additional problems.

As the participant of work (collaborator) the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Research Centre Juelich (Germany) acts, which has undertaken to make the essential contribution (not financial) as gratuitous delivery from Juelich:

  1. Source of the polarized atoms (ABS)
  2. Source of the polarized ions.
  3. Lamb-shift polarimetr.
  4. Vacuum equipment and special instrument.

Within of six years at performance of works under the project 1861 we had close communications with the employees of institute of Nuclear Physics of the Research Centre Juelich.

All elements of installation under the project 1861 were made basically in PNPI RAS (Gatchina). Adjustment and the measurements under the program of the project were carried out in Juelich. The source of the polarized atoms was made in Juelich at participation of the employees PNPI RAS. As a result of joint works the wide experience is received. The young employees - graduates of the Petersburg Polytechnical University are involved, the international communications with the German scientists have become stronger, a few of joint seminars on discussion of problems of the project is carried out. Thus, there was formed a competent collective capable to decide independent of a task in the field of charged particles physics, cryogenic and superconductive engineering.

The results, which will be received at performance of the offered new project, will be rather useful to the further researches of problems of nuclear synthesis and will bring in the contribution to astrophysical area of science.


  1. Y.Tomita, T.Takahashi, H. Momota. Nucl. Inst. Meth. Phy. Res. 402 (1998) 421.
  2. A.Vassiliev, N.Chernov,.K.Grigoriev, P.Kravtsov, S Sherman (PNPI RAS). R.Engels, F.Rathmann, H.Seyfarth (IKP FZ,Juelich,Germany) U.Uzikov (JiNR, Rossia} “Cross section measurements of the polarized d+ 3He and d+d reactions at low energies.” Czechoslovak Journal of Physics, Vol. 54 (2004),Suppl.C
  3. M. Mikirtytchiants ……. p.47. (In Proc. 9 Int. Workshop Polarized Source and Targets, USA, Sept. 2001. Eds. V.P. Derenchuk and B. von Przewoski).
  4. A.S. Belov, p.362. (In Proc. 7 Int. Workshop Polarized Source and Targets, USA, Aug. 1997. Eds. R.J. Holt and N.A. Miller).
  5. A.S. Belov “A scheme for a polarized 3He ion sourñe with a resonant charge-exchange plasma ionizer”, presented at the 7th RCNP International Workshop on Polarized 3He Beams and Gas Targets and their Application. (Kobe, Japan).


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