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Energies 2010, 3(6), 1067-1086;

Fifty Years of Magnetic Fusion Research (1958–2008): Brief Historical Overview and Discussion of Future Trends

University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1500 Engineering Dr. Madison, WI 53706, USA
Received: 3 March 2010 / Revised: 29 April 2010 / Accepted: 10 May 2010 / Published: 1 June 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Fusion)
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Fifty years ago, the secrecy surrounding magnetically controlled thermonuclear fusion had been lifted allowing researchers to freely share technical results and discuss the challenges of harnessing fusion power. There were only four magnetic confinement fusion concepts pursued internationally: tokamak, stellarator, pinch, and mirror. Since the early 1970s, numerous fusion designs have been developed for the four original and three new approaches: spherical torus, field-reversed configuration, and spheromak. At present, the tokamak is regarded worldwide as the most viable candidate to demonstrate fusion energy generation. Numerous power plant studies (>50), extensive R&D programs, more than 100 operating experiments, and an impressive international collaboration led to the current wealth of fusion information and understanding. As a result, fusion promises to be a major part of the energy mix in the 21st century. The fusion roadmaps developed to date take different approaches, depending on the anticipated power plant concept and the degree of extrapolation beyond ITER. Several Demos with differing approaches will be built in the US, EU, Japan, China, Russia, Korea, India, and other countries to cover the wide range of near-term and advanced fusion systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: fusion history; magnetic fusion concepts; power plants designs fusion history; magnetic fusion concepts; power plants designs

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El-Guebaly, L.A. Fifty Years of Magnetic Fusion Research (1958–2008): Brief Historical Overview and Discussion of Future Trends. Energies 2010, 3, 1067-1086.

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