Rebuilt ST40 tokamak fired up
Posted on 15 May 2019 and read 1246 times
Oxfordshire-based Tokamak Energy Ltd has dismantled, relocated and rebuilt its ST40 tokamak at a new larger facility in Milton Park, as it prepares for an attempt later this year to reach the temperature required for nuclear fusion — 100 million °C (www.tokamakenergy.co.uk
During a first round of testing in June 2018, the ST40 achieved a plasma temperature of 15 million °C – hotter than the core of the Sun.
The company is aiming to accelerate the commercialisation of fusion energy by developing compact modular power plants that can be rapidly deployed.
Nuclear fusion is widely seen as the ‘Holy Grail’ of energy production, as it produces no greenhouse gases and no long-lived radioactive waste, yet it can produce vast amounts of energy from tiny quantities of fuel.
As such, it offers a clean, green, safe and plentiful energy solution for thousands of years into the future.
Last month, the company fired up the ST40 at the new facility, created plasma and successfully repeated experiments from last year, demonstrating that the power plant was back to the level of performance attained before the relocation.
The company also tested the toroidal field magnets after an upgrade to the power supply and produced the highest-ever magnetic field in a spherical tokamak.
The ST40 will now be shut down for several weeks’ worth of additional engineering upgrades, including the installation of new diagnostics.