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Nuclear fusion breakthrough with world-first ‘super’ magnet


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A UK firm has announced a world-first set of “super” magnets that may be used for testing nuclear fusion power plants.

Tokamak Energy said the Demo4 magnet has a magnetic field strength that is sort of one million times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field, making it able to confining and controlling the extremely hot plasma created through the fusion process.

Nuclear fusion has been hailed because the “holy grail” of unpolluted energy, with scientists working on the technology because the Fifties.

The method involves mimicking the natural reactions that occur inside the Sun, providing near-limitless energy without requiring fossil fuels and without producing hazardous waste.

Tokamak Energy is aiming to be the primary private company to provide business fusion energy, with the goal of demonstrating grid-ready fusion within the early 2030s.

“This can be a huge, visible moment that we’re really enthusiastic about,” said Dr Rod Bateman from Tokamak Energy.

“Our magnets enable the development and operations of spherical tokamaks, and so are a game changer for getting clean, limitless fusion energy on the grid faster.”

Commercialisation of the facility source still stays a good distance off, though several major breakthroughs in recent times have given hope that it’s going to be attainable inside the subsequent decade.

Last 12 months, scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California became the primary to realize a net energy gain using nuclear fusion power.

LLNL described the feat as “probably the most significant scientific challenges ever undertaken by humanity” that might supercharge efforts to make fusion energy a reality.

Tokamak Energy CEO Chris Kelsall said the corporate’s recent magnet technology would help push forward advancements by providing a key component of the fusion process.

“The learnings from Demo4 can be a key catalyst for delivering the worldwide deployment of compact, low-cost spherical tokamak power plants,” Mr Kelsall said.

“We’re proud to be delivering this world-first, complete system of HTS magnetic coils, which is able to now be assembled right into a full tokamak configuration for testing.”

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