The unbelievable is becoming a reality. The world’s strongest ever magnet is ready to be transported to the South of France, where it will be moved to the world’s biggest experimental fusion facility.
The magnet will be placed in the middle of ITER, which is a fusion reactor. This effort aims to be able to copy the energy of the Sun here on Earth.
The magnet is called “Central Solenoid” and is being transported in parts, 18 to be exact. It will weigh over 1000 tonnes and will be 18m tall and 4.2m wide when assembled. Its magnetic field parallels 13 Tesla, equating its magnetic power to be 280,000 times stronger than Earth’s magnetic power. Due to this powerful magnetic force, the structure it is placed on has to be supremely strong. Strong enough to withhold twice the pressure of an air shuttle lift.
This is the most ambitious energy project ever to take place on Earth. It is being constructed with the support of 35 various countries, including Korea, the US, Russia, Japan, India, China, to name a few.
The objective behind this large-scale experiment is to determine that hydrogen infusion can be contained and utilized as a source of fuel, which can result in powering cities with hydrogen fusion as a carbon-free, safe, and cost-effective energy source. The construction of the ITER was halted due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but it seems as if the project has restarted with new vigor. The completion of this project is aimed at 2025.
Fusion reactors try to copy the explosions inside the stars, where huge gravitational forces result in hydrogen atoms joining in. This process releases energy. If this experiment is successful, it will be a huge breakthrough in the sustainable energy world. Engineers who are hard at work on the project are determined to make it the first reactor that will create more energy from fuel than is needed to sustain the fusion reaction – the aim is to generate 500 megawatts of usable energy from an input of merely 50 megawatts.
General Atomics finalized testing of the pioneer Central Solenoid module at the start of this year, and it will be placed into a special heavy transport truck this week for transportation to Houston from their California facility, where it will be loaded onto a ship heading to southern France, heralding the start of something big.
In a press release, Dr. Michael Mauel of Columbia University stated, “This transportation is a big nod at the capability of the U.S to lead such huge scale projects in the energy industry and is a terrific step towards realizing the dream of using infusion energy shortly.”