On the theory of plasma processing of spent nuclear fuel
National Research Centre ‘Kurchatov Institute’, pl. akad. Kurchatova 1, Moscow, 123182, Russian Federation
This paper reviews the current theory of the processing of spent nuclear fuel by a plasma method using ion cyclotron heating. The method consists of selectively heating ash ions followed by extracting them from the cold plasma flow. It is shown that these processes are realizable for moderate values of system parameters. Through the analysis of spent fuel processing data, the paper yields results useful for other applications. A theory of helical wire antennas that are often used in plasma research is developed. A new interpretation is offered for the amplification of a HF electric field excited by such antennas. The concept of spatial instability is introduced for the stationary flow of a continuous medium, a phenomenon that leads to the downstream enhancement of perturbations due to nonmoving objects and can occur, for example, in a subsonic plasma flow along the magnetic field.