Inertial Confinement Fusion as a Tool to Study Fundamental Nuclear Science
Inertial confinement fusion may possibly be used to make fundamental nuclear science measurements of low energy light ion cross-sections of interest in astrophysics and fusion research. The feasibility of collecting and counting the beta decay of the reaction products (half-life 20 ms to 20 s) in the expanding neutral gas after the ICF shot is being studied using a special vacuum system that allows a radioactive gas to be released, trapped, and counted in situ using different techniques. Initial experiments have used a turbopump to trap the gas in the foreline, where it can be counted by a 4π phoswich beta detector. The construction and simulation of this detector, tests using 41Ar gas produced via the 40Ar(d,p)41Ar reaction, and an OMEGA laser ride along experiment to measure background rates from milliseconds to seconds after a high yield D-T laser shot will be described.