We are developing the fusion power plant of tomorrow, while commercialising the tech applications today

We have two world leading technologies which are central to the economic development of fusion. Our compact spherical tokamak is the most advanced of its kind in the world. We are a global leader in High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) magnets which also have high-tech applications in other industrial sectors.

Our route to fusion power is unique. We are taking established science and building on it by pioneering the use of spherical tokamaks in conjunction with HTS magnet technology.

Fusion – the energy source that powers the sun – is globally accepted as the best way to generate plentiful, safe, secure and clean energy. The tokamak is the most heavily researched and best understood of all the different paths to fusion.

It is now acknowledged that the spherical tokamak design offers the smallest and most cost-effective solution. This is our solution.

Our team of world-class fusion scientists and magnet engineers is solving complex engineering challenges to develop efficient and affordable fusion power.

Once fusion power is achieved, our scalable technology could be rolled out across the world as a solution to one of humanity’s greatest challenges: clean and sustainable energy for all.

 

 

Spherical tokamaks

Scientists first realised the potential of tokamaks to achieve fusion conditions back in the 1960s when the Russian tokamak T3 reached much higher plasma temperatures than any other fusion machine at the time.

In the 1980s, one of our founders, Alan Sykes, who was working at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, did a theoretical study that revealed modifying the shape of the tokamak would have an impact on performance.

By moving from a doughnut-shaped plasma ring to an apple-shaped plasma ring, the plasma is contained more efficiently. Alan found that it is possible to achieve a much higher plasma pressure for a given magnetic field. Experimental studies in the 1980s by teams led by Alan and Mikhail Gryaznevich on first START (shown) and then MAST tokamaks verified this result.

Combining the increased efficiency of the spherical tokamak with the improved magnetic confinement made possible by HTS magnet technology, is the most viable route to cost-effective, commercial fusion power in smaller machines.


HTS magnet technology

Magnetic fields are a vital component of tokamaks as they trap the electrically-charged plasma particles and keep the fusion fuels contained and hot.

  1. HTS magnets are made from Rare earth Barium Copper Oxide (REBCO) and manufactured in narrow tapes that are less than 0.1mm thick. When wound into coils, they can create much higher magnetic fields while taking up less space than conventional superconductor magnets.
  2. The ‘high’ temperatures at which HTS materials operate is still pretty cold (between -250 and -200 degrees Celsius) but there are still a considerable energy – and cost – savings to be had over cooling to -269 degrees Celsius.