The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has a fusion reactor that can generate temperatures twice as hot as hot as the center of the sun.

Physicists were able to achieve those temperatures by doubling the plasma pressure in the Alcator C-Mod tokamak reactor at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center. The goal of the research is to create a donut-shaped vacuum chamber that would heat deuterium and tritium to temperatures of 150 million degrees Celsius to create fusion via superhot plasma.

This was the first time scientists have managed to achieve temperatures necessary for that goal, Silicon Republic’s Colm Gorey wrote. If those reports are accurate it might mean that practical hot fusion is close to reality.

Dennis Whyte
Dennis Whyte

That seems to verify a claim that Dennis Whyte; the center’s director and the head of MIT’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Department, made last year. In a press release last year, Whyte said he thinks that it will be possible to build a working hot fusion reactor with off the shelf technology within 10 years.

Hot Fusion is Almost Here

“The conditions necessary to make fusion power are in hand,” Whyte told Commonwealth Magazine in July.

Whyte thinks that new superconducting materials will enable scientists to generate the magnetic fields necessary to contain a fusion reaction. Only in recent years have magnets strong enough to create the pressures necessary to get plasma hot enough for fusion become available. Whyte and his colleagues aim to do just that at MIT.

They’re working on a design for a new fusion reactor called ARC (an acronym for Affordable, Robust and Compact) in other words the world’s first commercial fusion reactor. Whyte thinks an ARC might be capable of generating 250 million watts or 25 megawatts of electricity.

The inside of the Alcator C-Mod Tokamak reactor at MIT.
The inside of the Alcator C-Mod Tokamak reactor at MIT.

In contrast one wind turbine generates between 2.5 and 3 megawatts of electricity. Enough to provide 1,500 average households with electricity. If it works as advertised Whyte’s ARC would provide enough electricity for around 833,333 homes.

The ARC would produce no emissions and require little or no fuel making it both economical and nonpolluting. Whyte believes that fusion plants might be feeding electricity into the gird within 15 years.

Whyte and his team still have a long ways to go although they are now regularly generating reactions that create temperatures of 100 million centigrade or more.

If Professor Whyte is correct working fusion reactors might be online by 2030. If that’s true it is time to start selling your oil stocks because they will soon be worthless.

 

 

https://i0.wp.com/geekcrunch.reviews/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Alcator_C-Mod_Fisheye_from_Gport.jpg?fit=1024%2C686&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/geekcrunch.reviews/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Alcator_C-Mod_Fisheye_from_Gport.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Daniel JenningsScience100 million centigrade,Affordable Robust and Compact,ARC,commercial fusion reactor,Dennis Whyte,Fusion Reactor,Hot Fusion is Almost Here,MIT,Nuclear Science and Engineering,Plasma Science and Fusion Center.,tokamak reactor,working fusion reactorsThe Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has a fusion reactor that can generate temperatures twice as hot as hot as the center of the sun. Physicists were able to achieve those temperatures by doubling the plasma pressure in the Alcator C-Mod tokamak reactor at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center....From A Geek to a Geek