Energy from inertial fusion

Nuclear fusion facilities (of both types, MFE and IFE) constitute hostile irradiation environments. Different components are subject to different types of irradiation (e.g., structural components must withstand neutron irradiation and the first walls must withstand plasma discharges resulting in ion irradiation). The irradiation (through electrons, neutrons, ions or photons) leads to thermal loads and/or atom displacement through elastic collisions. These effects are well studied, the major physical mechanisms are understood and despite some unknowns, an established discipline has emerged (Radiation-Matter interactions), which has made possible to develop predictive codes validated with a vast number of experiments. Radiation-matter interaction has become a matured discipline. The materials response to thermal loads, as well as the damage originated by means of atom displacement as a consequence of elastic collisions are well understood. However, the situation is different for damage generation by means of high electronic excitation. This involves the interaction of intense beams of purely ionizing radiation (laser, X-rays) or fast ions with matter, primarily with electrons in the material causing excited electronic states.