Numerical Simulation of Fluid-Structure Interaction in Liquid Metals
General Fusion is currently working to develop a relatively small, low-cost fusion reactor; work has reached the proof-of-concept stage. The reactor consists of an enclosure filled with molten lead, spun about one axis to create a plasma-filled cavity. A mechanically-induced shock wave travels radially inwards, focusing as it propagates and collapses the plasma cavity. This collapse heats and pressurizes the plasma and initiates a fusion reaction that releases energy, re-expanding the cavity and causing another shock to propagate radially outwards through the lead. The proposed research will develop numerical models to simulate the coupling between the reactor enclosure and the molten lead for both the inwards and outwards moving shocks. The simulation results will be used to improve the design and operation of the reactor.