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 out fusion power on the grid possibility within 15 years. The project takes a new approach from previous efforts with the intention of using a new class of high-temperature superconductors, creating the first fusion reactor that produces more energy than needs to be inputted. The team plan to use new superconducting materials to produce ultra-powerful magnets and reduce the timeframe usually cited from how long completing this project may take.

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. With a usual estimated timeframe of 30 years, this possibility to provide electricity from such a clean process in half that time could be a huge breakthrough in 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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