Superconductor technology for smaller, sooner fusion

Superconductor technology for smaller, sooner fusion
The assembly designed for the third SULTAN cable test features two 3-meter VIPER HTS cables in parallel and connected with a copper joint at the bottom; cryogenic helium and electrical current are injected at the top.once installed in SULTAN. The outer superstructure provides structural support to react the enormous lateral electromechanical body loads generated within the cables during testing. A unique aspect of this design, provided by the materials and the trapezoidal extension at the mid-plane, is the ability to axial strain the cables during testing to better replicate the conditions that would be experienced by VIPER cableswithin a high-field magnet. Credit: Jose Estrada/PSFC

Scientists have long sought to harness fusion as an inexhaustible and carbon-free energy source. Within the past few years, groundbreaking high-temperature superconductor technology (HTS) sparked a new vision for achieving practical fusion energy. This approach, known as the high-field pathway to fusion, aims to generate fusion

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America’s First Nuclear Fusion Reactor Could Go Online in 2025

In 2014, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) shocked the world with the announcement that it was building a nuclear fusion reactor and planned to have it online “in as little as ten years.” Five years later, Lockheed confirmed that it is still working on the project — but had made very little progress in nuclear fusion energy.



a person standing in front of a building: America's First Nuclear Fusion Reactor Could Go Online in 2025


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America’s First Nuclear Fusion Reactor Could Go Online in 2025

Now it sounds like MIT may beat them to it.



a person standing in front of a building: Workers building the MIT SPARC reactor.


© Commonwealth Fusion Systems
Workers building the MIT SPARC reactor.

The SPARC of an idea

On the opposite side of the country from the fabled Skunk Works, which is working on LockMart’s version of the reactor, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Plasma Science and Fusion Center are working on a compact fusion reactor of their own, reports The New York Times. Within the next three to

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Researchers apply CRISPR technology to eliminate fusion genes present in tumor cells

The CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool is one of the most promising approaches to advancing treatments of genetic diseases – including cancer -, an area of research where progress is constantly being made.

Now, the Molecular Cytogenetics Unit led by Sandra Rodríguez-Perales at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) has taken a step forward by effectively applying this technology to eliminate so-called fusion genes, which in the future could open the door to the development of cancer therapies that specifically destroy tumors without affecting healthy cells. The paper is published in Nature Communications.

Fusion genes are the abnormal result of an incorrect joining of DNA fragments that come from two different genes, an event that occurs by accident during the process of cell division. If the cell cannot benefit from this error, it will die and the fusion genes will be eliminated.

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The New Space Race Is Fusion Energy

Space is exciting.  The idea of finding life elsewhere in the solar system or visiting another planet captures the imagination.  Private companies like SpaceX getting involved to carry cargo and now crew to the International Space Station are freeing up NASA scientists to focus on more ambitious goals.  The sense of exploration, the grand challenge, inspires us to achieve the incredible.

But the grand challenge of our generation is not space.  It’s not getting to Mars, though that is exciting and will undoubtedly lead to numerous technological advances.  Our new space race is a planetary one—our race to reliable, sustainable energy. And the energy of the stars—fusion—is our great hope.  

Why fusion?

Fusion safely produces energy with no greenhouse gases and no long-lived radioactive waste.  The waste product

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SIUE and SIUC to co-host annual Global Fusion Conference

EDWARDSVILLE — Southern Illinois University Edwardsville together with SIU Carbondale will host the 20th Annual Global Fusion Conference Friday-Sunday Oct. 9-11 in what will be the event’s first-ever virtual gathering.

The goal of the conference is to promote academic excellence in global media and international communication studies. It is sponsored by a consortium of universities, including SIUE, SIUC, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Ohio University and Temple University.

Under the theme “(In)visibility in global communication: Connections and Inequities,” the plenary panel brings together a rising filmmaker and two media scholars to discuss the Black Lives Matter and global anti-racist movement from Ferguson, Mo., to Cape Town, South Africa. Because it is virtual, there will be presenters from the Philippines, Myanmar, India and Europe.

According to Musonda Kapatamoyo, PhD, chair and professor in the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Mass Communications, the virtual conference

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Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor Is ‘Very Likely to Work,’ Studies Suggest

Scientists developing a compact version of a nuclear fusion reactor have shown in a series of research papers that it should work, renewing hopes that the long-elusive goal of mimicking the way the sun produces energy might be achieved and eventually contribute to the fight against climate change.

Construction of a reactor, called Sparc, which is being developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a spinoff company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems, is expected to begin next spring and take three or four years, the researchers and company officials said.

Although many significant challenges remain, the company said construction would be followed by testing and, if successful, building of a power plant that could use fusion energy to generate electricity, beginning in the next decade.

This ambitious timetable is far faster than that of the world’s largest fusion-power project, a multinational effort in Southern France called ITER, for International

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