Skip to Main Content
Applications of superconductivity will be needed in each of the three magnetic confinement systems being developed in the AEC controlled thermonuclear research program. Fusion plasmas must be confined by magnetic fields instead of solid walls. The tokamak and magnetic mirror confinement systems will need superconducting magnets to produce the confining magnetic field. The theta-pinch confinement system will need superconducting energy storage coils and homopolar machines to provide energy for pulsed magnetic fields. The AEC is supporting developments for these three systems but it is not yet known which magnetic confinement systems will be used in fusion power reactors. The technology problems associated with these applications of superconductivity are described in the paper.