MITEI statement on the successful test of first high-temperature superconducting fusion magnet

September 8, 2021    ·    

This past weekend on the MIT campus, project leaders from MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) and MIT spinoff Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) experienced what PSFC Director Dennis Whyte called “a Kitty Hawk Moment”: the successful demonstration of a high-temperature superconducting electromagnet producing a record magnetic field strength. This milestone brings us a major step closer to the commercialization of practical, inexpensive, carbon-free fusion power that could significantly advance the transition toward a clean energy future.

The MIT Energy Initiative was proud to facilitate important collaborations that helped support CFS and PSFC and the breakthrough research that led to this milestone. MITEI released the following statements:

MITEI Director and Chevron Professor of Chemical Engineering Robert Armstrong:

“MITEI is proud of the landmark achievement of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center and MITEI member Commonwealth Fusion Systems demonstrating the feasibility of high-temperature superconducting magnets for making fusion energy a reality. I am delighted that MITEI could be part of this story. Fusion energy can be a real game changer in the path to net-zero emissions. As a dispatchable, thermal energy source, it can provide both electrical and thermal energy when they are needed, thereby enabling decarbonization of some of the most difficult parts of the energy sector.” 

MITEI Executive Director Martha Broad:

“On behalf of MITEI and all of our members with whom we’re working to decarbonize the energy system, we congratulate PSFC and CFS. MITEI looks forward to working with PSFC and CFS as they move as quickly as possible to demonstrate this game-changing fusion technology and scale it up to help power the planet.”

MITEI Associate Director Louis Carranza:

“One comes to MIT to have the opportunity to work with extraordinary people trying to solve the world’s most challenging problems. In the case of Dennis Whyte and his team at PSFC, and CEO Bob Mumgaard and the team at CFS, I can think of no better example of the right people, at the right time, in the right place, working on the right problem. That we played any role at all in helping them along the way is certainly meaningful to all of us at MITEI, but mainly we are just rooting for them, because the world needs for them to succeed.”

Read more from MIT News: “MIT-designed project achieves major advance toward fusion energy

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