A novel method of utilizing fluorescence generated from the products of nuclear reactions offers the prospect of compact, high efficiency, multi-megajoule lasers. To overcome the problems associated with traditional laser (or energy converter)-fissile material interfaces, such as a uranium coating (low power density and low efficiency) or a gaseous uranium compound (low power density and deleterious effects on the laser kinetics and photon transport), a method suggested elsewhere of employing a reactor using a uranium aerosol fuel, interspersed with a fluorescer medium, is briefly reviewed. The charged particles produced by nuclear reactions in the fuel produce fluorescence in the core region of the reactor, through interactions with the fluorescer. This fluorescence can then be concentrated, to increase the effective power density in the laser medium, and used to drive a photolytic laser.
One key issue in the above process is the charged particle spectrum from the fissile aerosol. These issues can be addressed theoretically based on the Dirac chord length distribution technique and an Arcen's function. The charged particle spectrum from a UO2 coating has been generated and benchmarked with the experimental data of Kahn et al., and Redmond et al. Agreement is generally good except near the end of the fission fragment tracks. The validity of this simple technique in approximating the rate of ion energy loss lends confidence to the generation of fission fragment spectra for other geometries (i.e. spherical in which transport efficiencies of over 60% appear achievable) using U, UO2 and U3O8. Work is also extended to the case of B-10 in a variety of configurations which are frequently used in modern energy conversion experimental devices.