Who has the more promising fusion approach, MIT or ITER?

  • Thread starter arusse02
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  • #1
arusse02
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There's an MIT lecture on youtube where they talk about novel high temperature super conductors and how it will vastly benefit fusion. He claims that these higher temperature super conductors can generate a stronger magnetic field with just liquid nitrogen. They also claim that keeping the reactors smaller is actually better for a number of reasons. Meanwhile ITER has more money and international support but their project is so massive and complicated that I'm wondering how it could ever be an economically viable power plant. To me it seems like MIT is much more promising, but obviously I'm not fusion expert. So who has the most promising fusion approach and why?

Here's the link the lecture, which is excellent:

 

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  • #2
phyzguy
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It's not so simple. The high temperature superconductors that MIT wants to use don't really exist yet. They are still in the lab, so you can't really build a fusion reactor with them yet. ITER is being built with existing technology which we know we can build. No one expects it to be a viable power plant. Even though it is probably too large and expensive to be an economical reactor, we expect to learn a great deal. Some of the technology ITER will test include breeding tritium, and practical divertors, as well as many others that I probably don't know about. The hope is that after we have learned what we can from ITER, the high temperature superconductors will have progressed to the point where we can take what was learned at ITER and build a smaller, more economical reactor.
 
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  • #3
Lord Crc
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It's not so simple. The high temperature superconductors that MIT wants to use don't really exist yet. They are still in the lab, so you can't really build a fusion reactor with them yet.

He specifically mentions that the superconducting tape is commercially available and already exceeds the specs they used as basis for the ARC design. Or did he just make it sound like that, and the commercially available stuff is not that good yet?
 
  • #4
phyzguy
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He specifically mentions that the superconducting tape is commercially available and already exceeds the specs they used as basis for the ARC design. Or did he just make it sound like that, and the commercially available stuff is not that good yet?
I don't think it's available in the quantity and with the quality you would need to build a working reactor. But I could be wrong.
 

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