Tokamak Energy Fusion Development

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Technical lecture
13 March 2018 19:00 - 20:00
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Tokamak Device

The presentation will provide an insight in to the Tokamak Energy Fusion Development programme. Tokamak Energy are not just a paper exercise, but are putting the theory into practise. By designing and building prototype fusion devices, they learn from each one to develop the next.

Two recent developments in fusion research promise to open a faster route to fusion power. A re-examination of the ITER confinement databases has shown that for tokamaks the fusion gain, Qfus, depends only weakly on device size implying that, at least from a physics perspective, a high fusion performance can be obtained in relatively small devices. Reduction factors of three or four in power and at least an order of magnitude in volume appear feasible from a physics perspective.

The main size drivers are found to be engineering and technological aspects rather than physics considerations. The magnets are a major size driver and high-temperature superconductors (HTS) appear to offer significant advantages over low-temperature superconductors as used in current devices. These developments combine well in the spherical tokamak (ST), which is a tokamak with a relatively low ratio of the plasma major radius to minor radius, i.e. a tokamak with a shape that resembles a cored-apple rather than the traditional doughnut.

An approach based on STs fitted with HTS magnets is being pursued by Tokamak Energy Ltd, a privately funded company based in Oxfordshire; rapid and promising progress is being made.

Details of both developments will be presented and the opportunities and challenges of this alternative route to fusion, including the development of a technology roadmap through the key engineering and technological challenges, will be outlined.

Tokamak Energy Lecture


Alan Costley, a PhD graduate of Imperial College, has worked in fusion for more than 40 years. He has held senior positions at the JET project and on the international ITER project. He now and works mostly for Tokamak Energy Ltd, attempting to find a faster route to fusion power.


Physics, Lecture Theatre B
Building 46, Room 2003
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1PQ
United Kingdom

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