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Fuel encapsulation for inertial electrostatic confinement nuclear fusion reactors.

MacLeod, Christopher; FrancescoCapanni, Niccolo; Gow, Kenneth S.


Christopher MacLeod

Niccolo FrancescoCapanni

Kenneth S. Gow


Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) is an approach to nuclear fusion which utilises the properties of electrostatically accelerated ion-beams instead of hot plasmas. The best known device which uses the principle is the Farnsworth-Hirsch fusor. It has been argued that such devices have some potential advantages in spaceflight and in-particular as power-supplies for trans-atmospheric propulsion. This paper builds on previous work in the field and focuses on how the fixing of the fuel for such reactors in a solid, liquid or encapsulated form may provide a high enough energy-density to make such devices practical power sources. Several methods of fixing the fuel are discussed; theoretical calculations are presented and applicable literature is reviewed. Finally, there is a discussion of practical issues and feasibility, together with suggestions for further work.


MACLEOD, C., CAPANNI, N.F. and GOW, K.S. 2011. Fuel encapsulation for inertial electrostatic confinement nuclear fusion reactors. Journal of the British Interplanetary Society [online], 64(5), pages 139-149. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 31, 2011
Online Publication Date May 31, 2011
Publication Date Dec 31, 2005
Deposit Date Feb 28, 2012
Publicly Available Date Feb 28, 2012
Journal Journal of the British Interplanetary Society
Print ISSN 0007-084X
Publisher British Interplanetary Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 64
Issue 5
Pages 139-149
Keywords Nuclear fusion; Fusors; Fuseotron; Inertial electrostatic confinement; Propulsion; Power
Public URL
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