Science on Saturday: High-field tokamaks: the fastest and surest path to a fusion energy power plant

Mar 11, 2023, 9:30 am11:00 am
Online via Zoom & in-person at PPPL
General Public



Event Description

Devon Battaglia, Commonwealth Fusion Systems

Fusion energy can play a critical role in the transition to a carbon-free energy economy if demonstration power plants come on-line in the 2030s. The fastest and surest path to meet this target is to supercharge the tokamak, a scientifically mature technology, by increasing the magnetic field strength used to confine a hot plasma within the device.  A giant leap forward in magnet technology occurred in 2021 when Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) demonstrated the world’s strongest superconducting magnet at the scale needed for tokamak systems.  The next milestone for CFS is to leverage the novel magnet technology to demonstrate the first commercially relevant fusion system to produce more energy from the plasma than the energy going into it. This power-plant-scale high-field tokamak, called SPARC, is under construction at the new R&D and manufacturing headquarters in Devens, Massachusetts. This talk will describe the high-field SPARC tokamak and the path to fusion energy power plants in the 2030s.

Dr. Devon Battaglia is Head of Physics Operations for the SPARC Tokamak at Commonwealth Fusion Systems.  Prior to joining CFS, Dr. Battaglia was a Research Scientist at PPPL and led Physics Operations for the National Spherical Tokamak Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U).   He has participated in the operation of a variety of tokamaks around the world and served on numerous US and international committees including the Women+ in Plasma Physics Committee for the American Physical Society. His most recent recognition was a PPPL Spot Award for his contribution to Public Outreach.