Tokamak Energy hits commercial fusion milestone

Tokamak Energy has achieved a plasma temperature of 100,000,000°C with its ST40 spherical tokamak, the threshold required for commercial fusion energy.

A world first for a private fusion power company, this is the highest temperature ever reached in a spherical tokamak. Tokamaks use magnets to contain a plasma so that it can reach the high temperatures at which fusion occurs.

High magnetic fields are needed for tokamaks to contain the superheated fuel, and higher magnetic fields allow for a smaller, cheaper tokamak.

While several government labs have reported plasma temperatures of over 100 million° in conventional tokamaks, this milestone has been achieved in just five years at a cost of less than £50 million in a much more compact fusion device.

Tokamak Energy said its achievements further substantiate spherical tokamaks as the optimal route to deliver clean, safe, low-cost, scalable and globally deployable commercial fusion energy.

The privately funded ST40 has more than 25 diagnostic tools and uses advanced measurement technologies. The result of 100M° has been verified by an independent advisory board composed of international experts. Tokamak Energy plans to share its results with the scientific community.

“We are proud to have achieved this breakthrough, which brings us one step closer to the world a new, safe and carbon-free energy source,” said Chris Kelsall, CEO of Tokamak Energy.

The ST40 device will now be upgraded and used to develop technologies for future devices. The ST-HTS aims to be the world’s first spherical tokamak demonstrating the full potential of high-temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets, and will be commissioned in mid-2020. This will form the basis for the design of a nuclear fusion pilot plant, which will be commissioned in early 2030.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), said fusion energy could be the “ultimate power of the future,” commenting: “The government’s fusion strategy, published last year, aims to support companies like Tokamak Energy in achieving fusion energy. I look forward to further milestones in the months and years to come.”

Abhishek Maheswari
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