Pulsed High Temperature Superconducting Central Solenoid For Revolutionizing Tokamaks
The tokamak is the most scientifically mature fusion energy concept, which confines hot plasma in the shape of a torus (similar to a donut). This plasma is controlled in part by a central solenoid electromagnet. Using high-temperature superconductors (HTS) and an innovative design, Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) and its partners aim to build a central solenoid capable of quickly changing (“fast ramping”) its current and magnetic field, while also being robust enough to survive many thousands of cycles. This new HTS magnet will enable a new mode of tokamak operation, in which power output is repetitively pulsed. By comparison, traditional, steady-state tokamaks require expensive and complex external current-drive systems, and aggressive plasma physics with substantial scientific risk. The pulsed-tokamak power-plant pathway has the potential to reduce costs, speed timelines, and revolutionize the future of fusion power.
Accelerating and lowering the costs of fusion development and eventual deployment will enable fusion energy to contribute to:
Fusion energy will ensure the U.S.’s technological lead and energy security.
Fusion energy will improve our chances of meeting growing global clean-energy demand and realizing cost-effective, net-zero carbon emissions, while minimizing pollution and avoiding long-lived radioactive waste.
As a disruptive technology, fusion energy will likely create new markets, opportunities, and export advantages for the U.S.