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I first heard about the Tokamak in highschool 10 years ago and was wondering how far the technology has come since then. Can it sustain a reaction for more than a few seconds? Are these devices still huge or have they been made on a smaller scale?

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 04:31 (UCT), posted by SE-user Joe
retagged Mar 24, 2014
I suppose you've already checked the wikipedia list?

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 04:31 (UCT), posted by SE-user Marek
@Marek: Yes, I was looking for more of an intuitive idea of how successful these devices are.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 04:31 (UCT), posted by SE-user Joe
more seriously, ITER should be operative by 2018, but there is skepticism that you can reach breakeven, that is, that it will be able to produce more energy than it consumes, with tokamak technology

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 04:31 (UCT), posted by SE-user lurscher

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Can it sustain a reaction for more than a few seconds?

Yes, at JET. Lifetime of the plasma: 20–60 s

At ITER: It will operate over a wide range of ITER plasma scenarios, from short plasma pulses (a few hundred seconds) with enlarged fusion power (700 MW) to long plasma pulses of 3,000 s

Are these devices still huge or have they been made on a smaller scale?

They have to be large in order to give out more energy than they consume. This is the ITER link, the one planned and already being built, to get the size idea.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-24 04:31 (UCT), posted by SE-user anna v
answered Jul 19, 2011 by (1,875 points)

As of today (Jan.2016), go to http://www.iter.org/faq and select the category 'fusion as a sustainable energy source'.

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