Superconductors for a fusion reactor in next 15 years

Signal of change / Superconductors for a fusion reactor in next 15 years

By Shola Powell / 09 Mar 2018

Scientists from MIT are working in collaboration with a private company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems, to put fusion power on the grid within 15 years. The project takes a new approach, using a new class of high-temperature superconductors to create the first fusion reactor that produces more energy than needs to be inputted. The team plans to use new superconducting materials to produce ultra-powerful magnets that can help reduce the timeframe required for completion.

So what?

Fusion power has for years been considered the ‘energy of the future’, as it is a zero-carbon, combustion-free source of energy. The reaction does not create greenhouse gasses, or hazardous radioactive waste, as made by conventional nuclear fission reactors.

The estimated timeframe usually given for fusion power is 30 years. The possibility of reducing this by half could be a huge breakthrough for the power industry.

Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/09/nuclear-fusion-on-brink-of-being-realised-say-mit-scientists?CMP=fb_gu

What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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