Leading US figures see High Temperature Superconducting magnets as a key enabler for fusionOur news
11 January 2018

Leading US figures see High Temperature Superconducting magnets as a key enabler for fusion

Tokamak Energy to attend US meeting on HTS conductors and magnets in recognition of leading work conducted to date.

By combining the increased efficiency of the spherical tokamak with the improved magnetic confinement made possible by high temperature superconductors (HTS), we can see a viable route to cost-effective, commercial fusion power in smaller machines. This is central to our faster fusion approach.

Support for the approach of using HTS is growing amongst leading US scientific institutions including MIT and Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

Dennis Whyte, Head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT, has discussed this, in a video recorded with Tokamak Energy, describing it as a ‘game changer for fusion’.

Whyte said, ‘The research shows it is much more efficient to increase the magnetic field strength than it is to increase the size of the device’.

‘New superconductors that give you a higher magnetic field allow you to have the pressure you need, at a smaller size’.

Further support came from the Director of Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory when discussing this concept in evidence to congress in April 2016, highlighting the role of HTS in allowing sustainment of the plasma for long periods.

As well as generating huge interest for the wider scientific community, it is clear that the potential of fusion as a deep decarbonisation solution, and in particular Tokamak Energy’s HTS magnets, are rising to prominence in the eyes of investors. This has been notably evident in the US.

Accordingly, Tokamak Energy has been invited to take part in a meeting in the US, focusing on HTS conductors and magnets, in recognition of the leading work we are doing in the area. Attending this meeting will build on our collaboration with Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL) which led to a fusion power plant concept, as well as a paper describing the capabilities of different sizes of tokamak.

Back in 2015, we demonstrated that a tokamak could operate with continuous plasma for a record duration of 29 hours. Crucial to this was our world-class research on high-temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets.  Since then, Tokamak Energy has continued to push the boundaries of HTS magnet research.

Tokamak Energy representatives will be visiting the US in February to meet interested investors and in March US representatives from Princeton and MIT will talk at a meeting at the Royal Society in London proposed by members of Tokamak Energy’s Scientific Advisory Board.

Tokamak Energy is looking forward to discussing the ‘compact spherical’ tokamak route to fusion energy with potential investors in the US, and spreading the word further about our endeavours working with HTS magnets.

 

 



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