- A world first for a private fusion energy company

A spherical tokamak incorporating HTS magnets now planned

OXFORD, England, March 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Tokamak Energy has demonstrated a world-first with its privately-funded ST40 spherical tokamak, achieving a plasma temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius, the threshold required for commercial fusion energy. 


This is by far the highest temperature ever achieved in a spherical tokamak and by any privately funded tokamak. While several government laboratories have reported plasma temperatures above 100M degrees in conventional tokamaks, this milestone has been achieved in just five years, for a cost of less than £50m ($70m), in a much more compact fusion device. This achievement further substantiates spherical tokamaks as the optimal route to the delivery of clean, secure, low cost, scalable and globally deployable commercial fusion energy. 

With over 25 diagnostic tools in the ST40 and utilising the latest advanced measurement technologies, the 100M temperature result has been verified by an independent advisory board consisting of international experts. Tokamak Energy plans to share these significant results with the scientific community.

Chris Kelsall, CEO of Tokamak Energy said:

"We are proud to have achieved this breakthrough which puts us one step closer to providing the world with a new, secure and carbon-free energy source. When combined with HTS magnets, spherical tokamaks represent the optimal route to achieving clean and low-cost commercial fusion energy. Our next device will combine these two world leading technologies for the first time and is central to our mission to deliver low-cost energy with compact fusion modules."

The ST40 device will now undergo an upgrade and be used to develop technologies for future devices. The ST-HTS, which will be the world's first spherical tokamak to demonstrate the full potential of high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets, is due to be commissioned in the mid-2020s. This device will demonstrate multiple advanced technologies required for fusion energy and inform the design of a world first fusion pilot plant, to be commissioned in the early 2030s.  

The company is also manufacturing a complete HTS magnet system, which will be the first validation of strong magnetic fields with HTS coils in a spherical tokamak. 

Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said:

"Fusion energy could be the ultimate power of the future – low carbon, safe and sustainable – and this is another crucial step towards it. I congratulate all of those who contributed to this important milestone." 

"The Government's fusion strategy, published last year, is designed to support companies like Tokamak Energy to make fusion energy a reality. I look forward to further milestones in the months and years ahead."

Notes to Editors

Tokamaks use magnets to contain a plasma so that it can reach the high temperatures at which fusion occurs.  High magnetic fields are necessary for tokamaks to contain the superheated fuel, and higher magnetic fields enable a smaller, lower cost tokamak. 

About Tokamak Energy

Tokamak Energy is a leading global commercial fusion energy company based near Oxford, UK.  The company is developing the fusion power plant of tomorrow while commercialising the technology applications of today.

Tokamak Energy is pursuing fusion through the combined development of spherical tokamaks, with high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets. 

The company, founded in 2009 as a spin-off from the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, currently employs a growing team of over 180 people with talent from the UK and experts from around the world.  It combines world leading scientific, engineering, industrial and commercial capabilities.  The company has more than 55 families of patent applications and has raised over £100m of private investment.

Once realised, fusion energy will be clean, low cost, and globally deployable – a key enabler for meeting world energy requirements and climate policy goals.


Email:  media@tokamakenergy.co.uk

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