The year’s popular research stories include astronomical firsts, scientific breakthroughs, and engineering milestones addressing Covid-19 and other global problems. White is the head of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Department and associate director of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center. The ARC design aims to achieve an engineering breakeven of three while being about half the diameter of the ITER reactor and cheaper to build. Within the next decade, the team hopes to develop a prototype reactor [SPARC] that can generate more energy than it consumes. Neither of them responded to e-mails or phone messages. says Chris Hegna, a professor of engineering physics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, who was not connected to this work. That would be the first time a fusion plasma of any kind has produced more energy than it consumed. For every watt of electrical power put into the JET system, it released 0.02 Watts of power from fusion. Removing an article from a Web site is easy. Images for download on the MIT News office website are made available to non-commercial entities, press and the general public under a An MIT- and startup-designed fusion reactor could be testing in four years and online within 10. Now, after many months of intensive research and engineering work, the researchers charged with defining and refining the physics behind the ambitious tokamak design have published a series of papers summarizing the progress they have made and outlining the key research questions SPARC will enable. Although the total input electrical power required to operate the SPARC reactor is not evident in any of its public disclosures, the world’s leading engineering university certainly must have a rough idea how much electrical power SPARC is expected to draw before engineers turn the machine on. “Engineers expect their SPARC reactor, or tokamak, to be much more powerful than previous experimental reactors,” writes Hays. What we’re trying to do is put the project on the firmest possible physics basis, so that we’re confident about how it’s going to perform, and then to provide guidance and answer questions for the engineering design as it proceeds.”. “The big mountain we have to get over is to understand this self-heated state of a plasma.”, "The analysis presented in these papers will provide the world-wide fusion community with an opportunity to better understand the physics basis of the SPARC device and gauge for itself the remaining challenges that need to be resolved," says George Tynan, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California at San Diego, who was not connected to this work. Pioneer in exoplanet research helped transform the burgeoning field into one of the fastest-growing and most exciting in space science. The ITER reactor is designed to use 50 MW of injected thermal power to heat the fuel. In February, the sophomore was starting her first Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) project at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), having spent two semesters more theoretically occupied writing algorithms for self-driving cars. In the June 27, 2019, press release, Commonwealth said that SPARC is designed to generate 100 MW of fusion power. The MIT-led team is developing a “SPARC” compact fusion reactor. March 11, 2019/Molly Lempriere/Power-Technology.com: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has announced that its SPARC reactor could begin producing energy from nuclear fusion by 2025, but it is a small reactor and likely to produce between just 50 MW and 100 MW of power. This included work at MIT that began in the 1970s, led by professors Bruno Coppi and Ron Parker, who developed the kind of high-magnetic-field fusion experiments that have been operated at MIT ever since, setting numerous fusion records. Mes Échanges Avec le Directeur Scientifique du Projet ITER, #61. below, credit the images to "MIT.". The plans for the SPARC reactor specify a fusion power output of 50 to 100 MW of heat. The Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) seeks to provide research and educational opportunities for expanding the scientific understanding of the physics of plasmas, and to use that knowledge to develop both fusion power and non-fusion applications. The analysis done so far shows that the planned fusion energy output of the SPARC tokamak should be able to meet the design specifications with a comfortable margin to spare. Delbert writes that the researchers may be able to get the SPARC reactor online within 10 years by “improving materials and shrinking costs.”. is developing a conceptual design for SPARC, a compact, high-field, net fusion energy experiment. Once this work is successful, these magnets will be used to build SPARC, the first net-energy controlled fusion experiment. The MIT and CFS project is one of the largest privately funded research and development projects ever undertaken in the fusion field. European ITER Domestic Agency Removes False Fusion Claims, 46. If SPARC requires 90 MW of electricity to heat the plasma, and it requires only an additional 10 MW of power to operate the remainder of the machine, the device, at best, will have a net output of zero MW of thermal power from fusion. Omitting the ITER Input Power – Cardozo’s Role, #53. … The researchers are working towards the goal of having SPARC operational by 2025, with an output of between 50 MW and 100 MW. If it works, [SPARC] would be the world’s first nuclear-fusion reactor to show net-positive energy gain. This work is a potential game-changer for the international fusion program​.". SPARC would be the size of existing mid-sized fusion devices, but with a much stronger magnetic field. MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Validating the physics behind the new MIT-designed fusion experiment. Founders of Renaissance Fusion Perpetuate ITER Deception, Open Letter to the President of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Regarding Deceptive Claims by MIT Fusion Scientists, Lockheed Fusion Reactor Lacks Data and Money, LENR -Independent • Informative • Scientific • Decisive. Nov. 6, 2018/Colm Gorey/Silicon Republic: The researchers plan to use this technology to build magnets at the scale required for fusion, followed by construction of what would be the world’s first fusion experiment to yield a net energy gain. Superconductor technology for smaller, sooner fusion MIT-CFS team’s demonstration of new superconducting cable is a key step on the high-field path to compact fusion. The papers also describe the use of calculations and simulation tools for the design of SPARC, which have been tested against many experiments around the world. It's … European Commission President Directs Correction of False ITER Claims, 42. Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) was founded in mid-2018 as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center. Then, they hope to develop a 200-megwatt pilot power plant [ARC] that can export electricity to the grid. Avec ITER, Plus ça Change, Plus C’est La Même Chose, 39. "They realized the emergence of high-temperature superconducting technology enables a high magnetic field approach to producing net energy gain from a magnetic confinement system. “Our research confirms that our concept has every chance of working”, recently stated in the New-York Times (relayed by Futurism) Martin Greenwald, deputy director of the Center for Nuclear Fusion and Plasma Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).The concept is that of a so-called “compact” nuclear fusion reactor, called SPARC. The SPARC design, though about the twice the size as MIT's now-retired Alcator C-Mod experiment and similar to several other research fusion reactors currently in operation, would be … If the conversion efficiency is the same with SPARC, it will require 90 MW of electricity to heat the fuel. Starting in 1993, MIT has been running a tokamak reactor called C-Mod only for experi… Princeton Lab Anticipates Fusion Breakeven Within Three Years, 51. We haven’t run into anything where we say, ‘oh, this is predicting that we won’t get to where we want.” In short, he says, “one of the conclusions is that things are still looking on-track. SPARC Underground –IAP 2017 Fusion energy and MIT’s pathway to accelerated demonstration 3 Unfortunately, so does CO 2 production CO2 per person [metric tons] 1 CO2 per person 0.01 100 CO2 per person [metric tons] 0.01 100 0.01 1 100 Only its planned successor, the ARC reactor, is intended to produce electricity. The biggest story in the fusion field these days is the growing amount of money pouring in from private investors. False Fusion Claims by Ian Chapman, Head of U.K. Fusion, #57. Seven studies describe progress thus far and challenges ahead for a revolutionary zero-emissions power source. So far, there have been only minor changes to the overall design. The federal program ran until 2016 when the DOE and Congress, after four years of indecision, pulled the plug. In a June 27, 2019, press release, Commonwealth Fusion Systems, a private spin-off from MIT, said it had raised another $50 million from investors, bringing its total fusion reactor funding to $115 million. Commonwealth Fusion Systems, founded in 2018 by MIT scientists, will soon begin its search for construction and engineering firms to help build SPARC… Simulations rule out plasmas caused by meteoroid impacts as the source of lunar magnetism, supporting the proposal that the ancient moon generated a core dynamo. ITER Claims: Corrections and Retractions, 48. The articles, Europapress detailed, explain both the theoretical and empirical basis of the new fusion system. Omitting the ITER Input Power – Martin Greenwald’s Role, 49. The details of the burning plasma “are really novel and important,” he says. … SPARC’s goal? Zachary Hartwig joined the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering in January 2017 as an assistant professor and holds a co-appointment at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC). The plans specify that the thermal power injected into the center of the reactor, to heat the fuel, will be 30 MW. Commonwealth said that, in six years from now, in collaboration with MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center, SPARC will “demonstrate net energy gain from fusion for the first time in history.”. This special issue’s seven peer-reviewed articles provide a comprehensive summary of the physics basis for SPARC: a compact, high-field, DT burning tokamak, currently under design by a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Commonwealth Fusion Systems.The SPARC project builds on a remarkable period of progress in the understanding of magnetically confined … Letter to European Commission: False Claims By European ITER Agency, 45. … Net energy gain – where the reactor produces more energy than is put into it – is the end goal of nuclear fusion, with its advocates promising that such a breakthrough would allow for us to produce near-limitless, clean energy at very little cost. New Energy Times asked Martin Greenwald, a founding member of the SPARC team and the deputy director of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, for that value. The SPARC design, though about twice the size as MIT’s now-retired Alcator C-Mod experiment and similar to several other research fusion machines currently in operation, would be far more powerful, achieving fusion performance comparable to that expected in the much larger ITER tokamak being built in France by an international consortium. The research “confirms that the design we’re working on is very likely to work,” says Martin Greenwald, deputy director for MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center. SPARC is a tokamak that has been proposed for construction by Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), with funding from Eni, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Temasek, Equinor, Devonshire Investors, and others. MIT and the startup Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) are currently working to develop a next-generation fusion research experiment, called SPARC, as … Senior Market Advisor Falls for ITER Bait-and-Switch, 40. “The physics effort is well-integrated with the engineering design. Promoters of JET have been guilty of the same omissions.]. The class called it the ARC (affordable, robust, compact) fusion reactor. They provided the projected input value for the injected heat into SPARC but not the input electrical value to create that heat or the input electrical value to operate the reactor. In the absence of public funding from U.S. taxpayers, MIT decided not to continue operating the reactor. New Energy Times also asked Brandon Sorbom, chief scientific officer of Commonwealth Fusion Systems. The MIT/Commonwealth plan outlines its next two planned reactors, SPARC and its successor, ARC. Greenwald wrote the introduction for a set of seven research papers authored by 47 researchers from 12 institutions and published today in a special issue of the Journal of Plasma Physics. My Conversation With the Chief Scientist of the ITER Organization, #60. According to its press release on March 9, 2018, Eni thought its $50 million would go toward the “realization of an experimental net energy fusion device.”, MIT had claimed that SPARC would “produce, in pulses of about 10 seconds, as much power as is used by a small city.”. Department faculty, researchers, and students have provided leadership in the interdepartmental efforts of MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center, which recently launched the SPARC project and houses the tokamak Alcator C-Mod, one of the three major national magnetic confinement fusion research centers in the US. During that half-century, MIT had developed a reputation for being a leading plasma fusion research center and had trained many of the world’s plasma physicists. ITER Council Meeting Begins Tomorrow, #59. MIT began operating its first experimental nuclear fusion reactor in 1972, funded by and under the auspices of the Department of Energy. Two years ago, New Energy Times spoke with Laban Coblentz, the spokesman for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). 2016 Survey of Professors on ITER Power Claims, 43. "The MIT group is pursuing a very compelling approach to fusion energy." Based on established physics, the device is predicted to produce 50-100 MW … In a particularly newsworthy year, news and views from the MIT community made headlines. CFS has assembled a world-class team working to design and build fusion machines that will provide limitless, clean, fusion energy to combat climate change. Rendering of SPARC, a compact, high-field, DT burning tokamak, currently under design by a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Commonwealth Fusion Systems. According to the Deputy Director of MIT’s Plasma Science & Fusion Center Martin Greenwald, one of the scientists leading the project, the articles inspire trust in plasma physics and the Sparc performance studies. Open Letter to ITER Director-General About ITER Power Claims, #56. A fusion startup today only needs to show that it has a reactor able to achieve net-positive energy gain—it doesn’t even need to build a full-fledged power plant—to prove itself. Now she would be working on MIT’s latest fusion experiment, SPARC. The first-ever net positive energy gain from fusion. The nuclear-fusion reactor at the heart of CFS, the Breakthrough Energy Ventures-funded startup, began its life in 2014 as a graduate-student project in an MIT class taught by fusion professor Dennis Whyte. 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