SCR-1 stellarator in Costa Rica produces first plasma

IPP June 30, 2016

Latin America’s first stellarator / official inauguration on 29 June 2016

Stellarator de Costa Rica 1 – a first for Latin America Photo: TEC

The small SRC-1 stellarator in Costa Rica went into operation on 29 June 2016. The device was planned and built by the Plasma Laboratory for Fusion Energy and Applications, which belongs to the Costa Rica Institute of Technology (TEC) in Cartago. The countdown for producing the first plasma was started by a high-ranking government representative from Costa Rica and the TEC President and was witnessed by guests from science and politics. Electronic congratulations had been sent by representatives of international stellarator research from Princeton, USA, and IPP at Greifswald to mark the advent of the new device. “Our work is to serve future generations”, stated Institute Director Dr. Iván Vargas: “If research like this continues to evolve, in the future this technology could be used at a power plant that would take alternative energy to our communities”.

The Plasma Laboratory for Fusion Energy and Applications was founded six years ago. It covers the fields of plasma medicine, industrial plasma technology and fusion research. Work hitherto had been concentrated on the small MEDUSA-CR device (Madison Education Small Aspect ratio tokamak), which was taken over from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and on the preparation of the SCR-1 stellarator.

The investment costs for SCR-1 came to 500,000 US dollars. The plasma vessel and modular coils were made in Costa Rica. The small device aims at attaining plasma temperatures of 300,000 degrees Celsius. SCR-1 as Latin America’s first stellarator now joins the ranks of the stellarators in Australia, Germany, Japan, Spain and the USA.