Saturday, 19 March 2011

Second generation fusion fuel

Second generation fuels require either higher confinement temperatures or longer confinement time than those required of first generation fusion fuels, but generate fewer neutrons. Neutrons are an unwanted byproduct of fusion reactions in an energy generation context, because they are absorbed by the walls of a fusion chamber, making them radioactive. They cannot be confined by magnetic fields, because they are not electrically charged. This group consists of deuterium and helium-3. The products are all charged particles, but there may be significant side reactions leading to the production of neutrons.

    2H + 3He \rightarrow p (14.68 MeV) + 4He (3.67 MeV)

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