CFS and MIT Announce Successful Magnet Test

September 8, 2021

Commonwealth Fusion Systems and MIT have announced the successful test of the unique high temperature, high field superconducting magnet needed for its SPARC tokamak fusion experiment. The SPARC is part of the quest to make future tokamak-based fusion power plants smaller and cost competitive.

The press release is at: https://news.mit.edu/2021/MIT-CFS-major-advance-toward-fusion-energy-0908

The press release states in part:

"It was a moment three years in the making, based on intensive research and design work: On Sept. 5, for the first time, a large high-temperature superconducting electromagnet was ramped up to a field strength of 20 tesla, the most powerful magnetic field of its kind ever created on Earth. That successful demonstration helps resolve the greatest uncertainty in the quest to build the worldÕs first fusion power plant that can produce more power than it consumes, according to the projectÕs leaders at MIT and startup company Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS)."

"The challenges of making fusion happen are both technical and scientific," says Dennis Whyte, director of MITÕs Plasma Science and Fusion Center, which is working with CFS to develop SPARC. But once the technology is proven, he says, "it's an inexhaustible, carbon-free source of energy that you can deploy anywhere and at any time. ItÕs really a fundamentally new energy source."

Whyte, who is the Hitachi America Professor of Engineering, says this week's demonstration represents a major milestone, addressing the biggest questions remaining about the feasibility of the SPARC design. "ItÕs really a watershed moment, I believe, in fusion science and technology," he says.