Tokamak Energy Has 24.4 Tesla High Temperature Superconducting Magnets Which Are Key to Nuclear Fusion Plans

Tokamak Energy magnet engineers have succeeded in producing a magnetic field of 24.4 Tesla in magnets made of high-temperature superconducting material.

The magnet is wound from REBCO (Rare earth – Barium – Copper Oxide) HTS tape. This conduction-cooled all-REBCO magnet achieved its peak field at 21K in a cold bore of 50 mm, which we believe to be record performance. In superconducting terms, 21K is a relatively high temperature. Additionally, the magnet is extremely robust, reliable and simple to manufacture. The engineers have been impressed by the defect tolerance of the coils and their response to a sudden loss of superconductivity, called a quench.

The achievement is an important milestone on the route to commercial fusion energy because high magnetic fields are necessary for tokamak machines to trap the hot fusion fuel, which is in the form of an electrically-charged gas called plasma. High temperature superconducting materials will facilitate the higher magnetic fields necessary for efficient commercial fusion reactors.

The progress of the HTS team has been faster than expected with milestones being hit well ahead of schedule (this milestone was scheduled for late 2020). The next step is to scale up these magnets into the configuration required for tokamaks.

SOURCES- Tokamak Energy
Written by Brian Wang,

12 thoughts on “Tokamak Energy Has 24.4 Tesla High Temperature Superconducting Magnets Which Are Key to Nuclear Fusion Plans”

  1. Fusion energy scales with the B-field to the 4th power. So an equivalent sized reactor with double the magnetic field should be 16 times as strong.

  2. Salt used to be expensive too. If you wait long enough, the choice between fission and fusion would be down to technical merits.

  3. I’m very skeptical of fusion economics over say NuScale fission. It’s not that I don’t think they won’t eventuallly succeed, it is just I think they might only be able to justify the high cost of fusion in the military and space. So fusion aircraft carriers and spacecraft, sure. Not so much commercial electricity.

  4. Look at MIT Plasma Science & Fusion Center’s theoretical design for their ARC fusion reactor and their slim down conceptual design for their SPARC reactor vs ITER.

  5. You can only scale it down so far.
    Much of the energy comes out as high energy neutrons. Those need to be absorbed in a lithium rich substance to breed tritium (if you are doing D-T fusion, the easiest) & generate heat to run a heat engine to generate electricity. The blanket of lithium will be a meter or 2 thick to absorb the neutrons & will have to be *inside* the magnetic coils so the neutrons don’t wreck the coils.
    The practical difficulties of this make me favor inertial confinement fusion, if we bother with fusion at all rather than fission.

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