It has long been accepted that large power output requires big-sized fusion reactors. But, based on calculations performed on beta plasma parameter1 by researchers from Tokamak Energy, UK, a company that builds compact tokamaks, size is not a significant issue when it comes to Fusion Power Gain2.

There is apossiblity of building lower power, smaller and cheaper fusion reactors than currently planned.
US firm, Lockheed Martin, has already declared its plan to build a compact fusion reactor the size of a truck by 2019. After this research by Tokamak Energy, more such projects may be possible.

Expert Speak:
  • Howard Wilson, Director of York Plasma Institute, believes there is still the major challenge of high magnetic field to overcome. "The breakthrough would be to discover how to create such high magnetic fields in the Tokamak."
  • David Kingham, Chief Executive at Tokamak Energy, opines that on the basis of this study, ITER, the largest fusion project in the world today, will outperform its current Q-value target

1Plasma beta is the ratio of plasma pressure to the magnetic pressure.
2Fusion Power Gain, or Q-value, is the measure of the ratio of the power from a fusion reactor to the power required to maintain the plasma in a steady state. According to this research, it does not strongly depend on reactor size.

Read the research paper at Nuclear Fusion
Read full news at Physics World