Light-Ion Accelerators for ICF
Demanding technical requirements at a very low cost make creation of an inertial fusion driver a very hard problem. Since the economic requirement may well be the most constraining one, and since the light-ion approach is the lowest cost option, the technically challenging light-ion approach to inertial confinement fusion (ICF) has been pursued aggressively in the US, with important contributions from researchers in England, Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union, Spain, and France. Reactors for light-ion-beam-driven ICF must operate reliably at 3 to 6 Hz for 30 years with high availability. Although single-shot ion accelerators are in the 100-TW class, repetitive light-ion accelerators are in the GW class. Although ICF with light-ion beams requires accelerators that can deliver one or more million joules of energy at approximately 100 TW power, single-module accelerators play an important part in developing the physics and technology.