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Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor Is ‘Very Likely to Work,’ Studies Suggest

Mark Silverstone's picture
Principal JMP Services AS

30+ years in Oil & Gas Industry Field of Interest: Environmental issues in general; waste management issues in particular. 

  • Member since 2002
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  • Oct 5, 2020

This might be interesting, especially to those of us who may remember earlier reports of the imminent arrival of fusion energy.   But this is not from where followers of the technology might expect, i.e. “… the world’s largest fusion-power project, a multinational effort in Southern France called ITER, for International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor.»

Rather, it is about “…a reactor, called Sparc, which is being developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a spinoff company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems, is expected to begin next spring and take three or four years, the researchers and company officials said.”

The optimism that it will result in the “…building of a power plant that could use fusion energy to generate electricity, beginning in the next decade” stems from “… seven peer-reviewed papers published Tuesday in a special issue of The Journal of Plasma Physics,” in which  «researchers laid out the evidence that Sparc would succeed and produce as much as 10 times the energy it consumes.”

“The research “confirms that the design we’re working on is very likely to work,” said Martin Greenwald, deputy director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center and one of the project’s lead scientists. Dr. Greenwald is a founder of Commonwealth Fusion but has no current affiliation with the company.”

I would not place bets on it. But the prospect is so tantalizing that it cannot be ignored.  I would be curious to know what Energy Central experts on the subject think.


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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 5, 2020

May not be the place we thought it was coming from, but this is a great example on where competition can finally move things along faster than they had been going! Eager to see where this goes

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