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The saturation of the hydromagnetic Rayleigh–Taylor instability is caused by the reduction of driving current in the bubble region between the spikes formed as the instability develops. For short wavelengths linear magnetic field diffusion provides the necessary smoothing of the magnetic field to reduce the driving force. For wavelengths longer than the magnetic field diffusion length, the current is shorted through material which expands into the bubble region. This initially low density accumulates in the bubble and eventually provides a source of sufficiently high conductivity plasma which reduces the magnetic field penetration to the front of the bubble. Simple analytic models have been developed to verify and and quantify these predictions. These models have been compared with two‐dimensional magnetohydrodynamic calculations for imploding plasma shells and give good agreement with these more detailed simulations.