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MIT Scientists: Nuclear Fusion Energy Could Be Closer Than Thought

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"SPARC is a compact, high-field, DT burning tokamak, currently under design by a team from MIT and CFS. 

This timeline could mean that the team could start experimenting with SPARC to create hot plasma and net fusion energy as early as 2025."

As people might have noticed in some of my other posts, these seem to be conservative timelines. This is based on two distinct ideas:

1. There is a lot of experience built up to date with tokamaks and stellarators. Presumably this isn't some 6 story tall monster like what they're building in France. Having a couple of private investors suggests that this project is more 'medium scale', perhaps 100Mw instead of 1Gw (for example).

2. There is the 'nuclear' ecosystem (national laboratories, commercial power plants, the military, and their suppliers) and the 'plasma' ecosystem (national labs, university labs, plasma coating facilities, military uses, etc.) and more generally high wattage electronics, vacuum chambers, etc. There's a lot of stuff that can be bought off the shelf.

I'm a bit bothered by the Deuterium/Tritium assertion, since people are fusing Protium (the lightest hydrogen isotope). 1 hydrogen atom out of about every 6000 hydrogens is 'heavy' (deuterium). Seems to me that this will evolve into a protium burning process, perhaps soon after they get the yields they are claiming they can achieve.

However, people raising money do tend to pad their estimates. Internally, they may be hoping for 'first light' a lot earlier than they're projecting to the public.

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