Physics World: Tokamak Energy achieves first plasma
The UK-based company Tokamak Energy has created the first plasma in its ST40 tokamak reactor. The firm will now complete the commissioning and installation of a full set of magnetic coils for the device, which will provide greater control over the plasma.
The company plans to achieve a plasma temperature of 15 million degrees by autumn 2017 and have the plasma at 100 million degrees in 2018. At this temperature it should be possible for hydrogen nuclei in the plasma to fuse together, releasing large amounts of energy.
Tokamak Energy has ambitious plans to create a fusion reactor capable of generating electricity by 2025 and have a commercially viable source of fusion power by 2030. Unlike the much larger ITER tokamak fusion reactor that is being built in France, the ST40 is a compact device that can run at a much higher plasma pressure. This, according to Tokamak Energy, should make more efficient at achieving fusion.