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Small scale fusion reactors

  1. Sep 17, 2014 #1
    Do you know of any promising concepts for small scale fusion reactors (for electric power production)?

    I'm thinking of something the size of, say, a train car or even smaller.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2014 #2


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    Right now, we'd settle for any size that produces net energy.
  4. Sep 18, 2014 #3
    There are a number of alternative confinement concepts. To name a few there are spheromaks, field reversed configurations (FRCs), reversed field pinches, levitated dipoles, magnetised target fusion, polywell, etc. While modern day tokamaks greatly outperform these alternative concepts, tokamaks have also received the lion's share of the research effort. Many of alternative concepts have on been tested on relatively small scale experiments. The truth is that these experiments are too small to make believable predictions concerning their confinement properties at reactor relevant conditions.The honest answer to your question is that we don't know.

    If you want to optimistic a number of smaller experiments have shown good confinement scaling at small scale. But so do small tokamaks, and I suspect that many of the difficulties that only arise in larger scale tokamaks will also arise as these alternatives go to larger scales.
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