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House Of Magnets, Milestones Bring Closer Nuclear Fusion Dream
Both teams generated amazing magnets in their different efforts to access a major energy source in the fight against climate change.
the first section of a giant magnet capable of lifting an aircraft carrier on Thursday.
The magnet measures over 60 feet (20 metres) tall and 14 feet (more than four metres) in diameter when fully completed.
Separately this week, MIT scientists and a private firm announced the successful test of the world’s strongest high temperature superconducting magnet, which may allow them to beat ITER to building a ‘sun on earth.’
Instead of producing radioactive waste and often catastrophic meltdowns, fusion proponents claim it produces clean, infinite energy. If scientists and engineers can harness it — they’ve been working on it for over a century.
Rather than dividing atoms, fusion uses a natural process in stars to fuse two hydrogen atoms together to create helium and energy.
Fusion takes extreme heat and pressure. To do so, the hydrogen is converted into an electrically charged plasma in a donut-shaped vacuum chamber.
General Atomics began delivering the ‘central solenoid’ from San Diego to France this summer.
Scientists want to start up ITER by early 2026, providing more energy than needed to heat the plasma and proving that fusion technology works.
The Massachusetts team claims it has created a magnetic field double that of ITER with a magnet 40 times smaller.
MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems experts say a gadget might be ready for daily usage in the early 2030s.
“This was made to be commercial,” said MIT Vice President and physicist Maria Zuber. “This is not a science experiment.” If successful, ITER would serve as a model for comparable but more complex reactors.
If ITER Then What
Proponents of the initiative claim that even if it fails, the countries involved will have gained technical abilities that can be applied in other sectors, such as particle physics and improved solar material design.
The U.S., Russia, China, Japan, India, South Korea, and most of Europe all contribute to the $20 billion initiative. And benefit from the scientific achievements and intellectual property developed.
There are 12 major US contributions to ITER, each built by American companies with monies given by Congress to support American jobs.
General Atomics’ head of engineering and projects. The safe delivery of the first module for ITER is a major accomplishment.
In order to manufacture and ship the magnet parts, which include 250,000 pound coils, the company spent years creating new technologies and processes.
Hence this engineering know-how will be important for future projects of this scale,” Smith said.
Hence the purpose of ITER is to demonstrate that fusion is a realistic and economically viable energy source,” he continued. “We now know what needs to happen to make fusion commercially viable.”
Hope Of Reducing Greenhouse
Mr. Bordry, who led the design and construction of another fiendishly complicated scientific equipment. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, believes that the world’s greatest hope of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero. By 2050 is to rely on nuclear energy.
“The expense of ITER is negligible compare to the impact of climate change,” he remark. “We must have funds”.