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SPARC: Fusion Energy Demonstration

CFS is collaborating with MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) to design and build SPARC, the world’s first net energy (Q>1) compact fusion system. SPARC is designed with the collective and proven knowledge of the world’s fusion programs, using well established plasma physics as well as cutting-edge tools that include advanced simulations, data analysis, and science from existing machines.

The physics that verifies SPARC will achieve net energy has been peer-reviewed and published in the Journal of Plasma Physics. These are the first peer-reviewed publications from any private commercial fusion company verifying a compact fusion device will achieve net energy where the plasma generates more fusion power than used to start and sustain the process – the requirement for a fusion power plant.

The papers apply the same physics rules and simulations used to design ITER and interpret results from existing experiments to predict SPARC’s performance based on the anticipated engineering design. The results show that SPARC will achieve its goal (Q>2) with considerable margin. The joint team of world-leading experts include those who worked on the design for ITER, as well as groups from national labs, centers, and universities around the world. Both ITER and SPARC are tokamaks, a device that uses a magnetic field to confine the fusion process. However, SPARC will use new high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets to enable a similar performance as ITER, but built more than 10 times smaller.