ST40 achieves 15-million-degree target

WNN 06 June 2018

Tokamak Energy announced today that it has achieved plasma temperatures of over 15 million degrees Celsius, hotter than the centre of the Sun. The Oxford, England-based company turned on its ST40 reactor for the first time in April 2017.

The reactor aims to produce a record-breaking plasma temperature for a privately-funded venture of 100 million degrees. This is almost seven times hotter than the centre of the Sun and the temperature necessary for controlled fusion.

Tokamak Energy's ST40 fusion reactor - 250 (Tokamak)

The ST40 fusion reactor (Image: Tokamak Energy)

Jonathan Carling, Tokamak Energy CEO, said: “We are taking significant steps towards achieving fusion energy and doing so with the agility of a private venture, driven by the goal of achieving something that will have huge benefits worldwide.

“Reaching 15 million degrees is yet another indicator of the progress at Tokamak Energy and a further validation of our approach. Our aim is to make fusion energy a commercial reality by 2030. We view the journey as a series of engineering challenges, raising additional investment on reaching each new milestone.”

The ST40 is the third machine in the company’s five-stage plan to achieve “abundant, clean fusion energy”, with its target of “industrial scale” energy production by 2025.

The Tokamak Energy approach is based on well-established science and is advancing rapidly, the company said. Its next target is to push on to achieve the temperatures necessary for controlled fusion on Earth.

Tokamak Energy grew out of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, which is also based in Oxfordshire. A key innovation, it says, is that the company combines spherical tokamaks with the latest generation of high temperature superconducting magnets.