Way back in the old, old times [5 YA!! LOL!], a young TEOT decided to start a nuclear fusion thread about MIT doing some plasma research and hitting,
"2 atmospheres for 2 seconds at 85 million degrees", or something like that. Since then so many leaps and bounds have happened that I am surprised
that some start up is not further along than we think (and the same can be said about a certain aerospace company that makes jets...). Seasons change,
records come and go, research continues, lockdowns happen, people switch jobs,... time passes!
And nuclear research has reached a level where regular people are starting to wonder if nuclear fusion is "less than 30 years away"!!
For those not tracking fusion advances, here are a couple that you may have missed:
* Wendelstein 7X had a complete shake down of it's conceptual design and was verified by super computers. At the same time, researchers found that
W7X's external magnets (the design is known as a stellarator) can also be applied to tokamaks (the donut shaped reactor). Edge Instabilities can be
smoothed out in both types of reactors by using relatively low level magnets that are external to the reactor vessel!
* Commonwealth Fusion had test and proven at 20 T superconducting magnet. While a great milestone and technical achievement, the less glamorous side
of research is the real winner: logistics! Now, there is a set manufacturer, technique, and methodologies to construct these modular magnets so
constructing multiple fusion reactors becomes a tenable reality.
Speaking of reality, here is some news that demonstrates how far research has come (and yet to go),
The Korea Institute of Fusion Energy has set a new record by running at one million degrees and maintaining super-hot plasma for 30
seconds, beating its own previous record by 10 seconds, a report by New Atlas reveals.
The tokamak reactor used for the record run is the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR)[...]
24 November 2021, interestingengineering.com: A
South Korean Artificial Sun Reactor Just Broke a Nuclear Fusion Record
A few short years and we have gone from a few seconds barely reaching 80 million degree, to high pressure, high performance (HP mode), which was only
a theory, in KSTAR!!
With all major reactors sharing machine control code software, and plasma run data, and all these advancements made in reactor materials, nuclear
fusion does not seem to still be 30 years away!
edit on 24-11-2021 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: Time line clarity