Dr. Robert S. Granetz
Principal Research Scientist
MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center
The SPARC mission is to create and confine a plasma that produces net fusion energy for the first time. High-temperature, high-field superconductors (REBCO) are the fundamental technology that enables SPARC to be built at a smaller scale compared to other proposed net-energy tokamaks; the smaller scale also enables it to be completed on a faster timeline.
We are currently in Phase 1 of the SPARC project, with two major milestones due in the summer of 2021:
(1) design, construction, and operation of a SPARC prototypical toroidal field coil, and
(2) a ready-toconstruct engineering design of the SPARC tokamak and facility.
Early R&D was very successful,
proving the robust performance of REBCO superconductor under SPARC-relevant conditions. The
team has designed the toroidal field model coil, and it is currently under construction.
Successful test results next summer will retire most of the major risks of the SPARC magnet system. In parallel, the physics and engineering of the SPARC device have been progressing to a self-consistent design, with all major systems specified, and predicted plasma performance having a
robust margin to engineering limits.