The Z-Pinch project, initiated by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), investigates the scientific principle of a power generation system using the Z accelerator in a 1000 MWe power plant application. The study integrates the liquid-protected chamber with the recyclable transmission lines (RTL), and the cartridge replacement mechanism. The strategy is to use high yield (3 GJ per shot), low rep rate per chamber (0.1 Hz), and RTL that is manufactured on-site. Every 10 seconds, the RTL connects the repetitive pulsed power driver to the target, driving 50-100 MA in 150 nanoseconds. Each pulse destroys the in-chamber portion of the cartridge. Remote operation using robots to pick up the ignited cartridge and insert a new one into the chamber seems feasible. Certain features of the design activity focused on areas unique to the Z-Pinch, including innovative ideas to establish the jet flow, breeding potential of jets and pool, chamber wall dimensions, damage profile at chamber wall, and life-cycle waste classification. Recycling of the RTLs has been recognized as a "must" requirement to control the radwaste stream and limit the RTL inventory. We at UW explored the potential of recycling and clearing the RTL materials as an alternate option to disposal in a geological repository.
The Z-Pinch could be an attractive option for burning actinides (Pu, Np, Am, Cm) and/or minor actinides (Am, Cm) produced by the fission fuel reprocessing plants. A Z-transmuter (In-Zinerator) would need a 200 MJ target injected every 10 seconds to transmute the actinides and deliver a net electric power of 1 GW. Numerous engineering issues were examined: effect of fission products on neutronics of a sub-critical blanket, coolant choices, tritium breeding potential, radiation damage to structure, energy deposition and extraction, tritium and fission product removal, radwaste classification, and safety aspects of such a device. The Z-Pinch seems to offer advantages over fast reactors in terms of transmutation efficiency and support ratio, but attention should be paid to challenging engineering issues.
UWFDM-1132 Linked Neutronics and Hydrodynamics Calculations for the Z Pinch Driven Target of X-1; M.E. Sawan and R.R. Peterson, October 2000 [presented at the 14th Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy, October 15-19, 2000, Park City UT]. (7 pages, 267 kB)
Z-Pinch IFE Program Final Report for FY05; C.L. Olson et al., 2006 [Sandia National Laboratories report, SAND-2006-7399P (2006)].
UWFDM-1295 Preliminary Study of Time-Dependent Isotopic Inventory of the In-Zinerator Actinide Management System; P. Phruksarojanakun, P.P.H. Wilson, L. El-Guebaly, B.B. Cipiti, R. Grady, September 2006. (13 pages, 697 kB)
Fusion Transmutation of Waste: Design and Analysis of the In-Zinerator Concept; B.B. Cipiti, V.D. Cleary, J.T. Cook et al., Nov. 2006 [Sandia National Laboratories Report SAND2006-6590].
UWFDM-1308 Activation and Waste Stream Analysis for RTL of Z-Pinch Power Plant; L. El-Guebaly, P. Wilson, M. Sawan, November 2006 [presented at the 17th ANS Topical Meeting on Fusion Energy, 13-15 November 2006, Albuquerque NM]. (7 pages, 945 kB)
Activation and Waste Stream Analysis for RTL of Z-Pinch Power Plant; L. El-Guebaly, P. Wilson, and M. Sawan, November 2006 [presented at the 17th ANS Topical Meeting on Fusion Energy, 13-15 November 2006, Albuquerque NM]. (1 page, 922 kB)
Z-Pinch Chamber Assessment and Design; L. El-Guebaly, M. Sawan, I. Sviatoslavsky, P. Wilson, G. Sviatoslavsky, G. Kulcinski, November 2006 [presented at the 17th ANS Topical Meeting on Fusion Energy, 13-15 November 2006, Albuquerque NM]. (9 pages, 1.4 MB)
UWFDM-1297 Initial Engineering Assessment of Actinide Transmutation in Z-Pinch Power Plant; L. El-Guebaly, B. Cipiti, P.H. Wilson, P. Phruksarojanakun, R. Grady, I. Sviatoslavsky, December 2006 (revised June 2007). (22 pages, 851 kB)
Transmutation of Actinides using Z-Pinch Fusion; B.B. Cipiti, P.P.H. Wilson, P. Phruksarojanakun, and L.A. El-Guebaly, 2007 [Fusion Science and Technology, 52, No. 3, 731-738 (2007)].
Engineering Issues Facing Transmutation of Actinides in Z-Pinch Fusion Power Plant; L. El-Guebaly, B. Cipiti, P. Wilson, P. Phruksarojanakun, R. Grady, and I. Sviatoslavsky, 2007 [Fusion Science and Technology, 52, No. 3, 739-743 (2007)].
UWFDM-1302 Analysis of Engineering Issues Facing the In-Zinerator Z-Pinch Fusion Device Using MCNP; R. Grady, P. Phruksarojanakun, P.P.H. Wilson, L.A. El-Guebaly, B. Cipiti, August 2007. (20 pages, 1.1 MB)