Breakthrough achieved in pursuit of unlimited energy through fusion by MIT researchers

A breakthrough in superconducting magnets by MIT scientists in 2021 has brought fusion reactors closer to reality, according to some experts. The Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) at MIT developed these new magnets, which have been deemed capable of meeting the demanding conditions of a fusion power plant.

The quest to unlock the potential of nuclear fusion has long been a goal for scientists seeking to tap into the clean energy generated by fusion as a way to replace fossil fuels and hazardous nuclear fission processes. The ability to replicate nuclear fusion similar to the sun could provide humanity with limitless energy possibilities, although achieving this has proven to be a challenging task. The key lies in powerful magnets that can contain the fusion fuel, and the recently discovered superconducting magnets are believed to play a crucial role.

These superconducting magnets, which are made from rare-earth barium copper oxide (REBCO), are designed to operate at 20 Kelvin (-253 degrees Celsius), a lower temperature than the magnets currently used in Tokamak fusion reactors. Unlike conventional superconductor-based magnets that require extensive insulation, REBCO magnets are left bare, leading to increased conductivity.

The development of these magnets represents a significant step forward in the race to harness fusion energy for practical applications. With their potential to enhance energy extraction from fusion reactions, these superconducting magnets hold promise for advancing the field of clean energy technology.