Spherical tokamaks offer advantages for commercial fusion power plants, such as higher thermal power per unit plasma volume and significant bootstrap current. These benefits enable smaller, more efficient machines to be developed, accelerating development timescales and reducing recycled power.

A commercial power plant requires superconducting magnets for long-pulse or continuous operation and to maximize net electrical power generation. A new magnet protection technology developed by U.K.-based Tokamak Energy is expected to improve the commercial viability of fusion power plants. The partial insulation system allows the magnets to be built and operated at power plant size and provides a simpler alternative to traditional superconducting magnet protection systems.

The company has validated the new partial insulation for high temperature superconductors and is now building a test facility to analyze the interactions of multiple magnets and demonstrate their use in a full-scale tokamak.

The results of the magnet test campaign were presented at the 2021 European Conference on Applied Superconductivity.

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