NE Seminar: “The SPARC Tokamak: The High-field Path to Fusion Energy

Date(s) - 09/24/2020
1:50 pm - 2:50 pm


Robert Granetz, Ph.D.

Principal Research Scientist

MIT Plasma Science & Research Center


The SPARC mission is to create and confine a plasma that produces net fusion energy for the first time. High-temperature, high-field superconductors (REBCO) are the fundamental technology that enables SPARC to be built at a smaller scale compared to other proposed net-energy tokamaks; the smaller scale also enables it to be completed on a faster timeline.

We are currently in Phase 1 of the SPARC project, with two major milestones due in the summer of 2021:

(1) design, construction, and operation of a SPARC prototypical toroidal field coil, and

(2) a ready-to-construct engineering design of the SPARC tokamak and facility

Early R&D was very successful, proving the robust performance of REBCO superconductor under SPARC-relevant conditions. The
team has designed the toroidal field model coil, and it is currently under construction.

Successful test results next summer will retire most of the major risks of the SPARC magnet system. In parallel, the physics and engineering of the SPARC device have been progressing to a self-consistent design, with all major systems specified, and predicted plasma performance having a
robust margin to engineering limits.

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