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Why don't Tokamaks blow up whenever they lose confinement?

  1. Nov 20, 2012 #1
    I haven't been able to find an answer to this anywhere. Suppose there's a quench in a coil at a tokamak and confinement is lost. I understand that there is no longer anything keeping the fusion going, but it seems to me that the plasma should still have enough inertia that, however momentarily, fusion would continue occurring, and the whole thing would go off like an h-bomb. Obviously this doesn't happen. Why?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    The plasma hasn't reached fusion density yet when the containment is lost hence it doesn't fuse. It is resisting being compressed to that density and squirts out of the containing magnetic field.
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