Problems of nuclear-laser power engineering and methods of their solution
In the mid-1980s, the concept of a high power reactor-laser system based on a nuclear pumped optical quantum amplifier (OKUYaN was formulated at IPPE. Its essence lies in the fact that a wide-aperture OKUYaN serves as an amplifier in the well-known «master laser – two-pass amplifier with phase conjugation» scheme.
The structure of such an amplifier includes a system of two neutron-coupled units: an ignition reactor (RB) and a laser (LB). The ignition unit is a compact multi-core pulsed fast neutron reactor. The laser unit operates on thermal neutrons and, in the neutron-physical relation, is a subcritical booster zone of the ignition reactor.
To substantiate the basic principles of the OKUYaN concept and to prove the possibility of its practical implementation, as well as to verify the calculation codes and to work out the element base, а unique unparalleled in the world reactor-laser complex with a demonstration sample of a pulsed reactor-laser system based on OKUYaN (stand «B») was created and put into operation at IPPE in 1999.
This article discusses the problems of developing and creating the stand «B», the choice and justification of the neutron-physical and laser characteristics of the OKUYaN demonstration sample. Provided are the results of a detailed computational-experimental study of the demonstration sample characteristics, the data from system studies of the direct conversion of nuclear fission energy into laser radiation energy in complex reactor-laser devices and the results of considering the prospects for the development of nuclear-laser power engineering.
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