Tokamak Energy aims to accelerate the development of fusion energy by combining two emerging technologies – spherical tokamaks and high-temperature superconductors. Tokamaks are the most advanced fusion concept in the world, but recent progress has been slow and we need to take an innovative approach to develop fusion faster. Their business model is based on agility and "open innovation" – working collaboratively with engineering companies, research laboratories and universities, whilst ensuring that they retain the ownership of crucial intellectual property.
Tokamak Energy grew out from Culham Laboratory, which is the world’s leading centre for magnetic fusion energy research and home to the world’s most powerful tokamak, JET, which produced 16MW of fusion power in 1997. Tokamak Energy is particularly focused on Spherical Tokamaks, pioneered at Culham, because these compact devices can achieve a much higher plasma pressure for a given magnetic field than conventional tokamaks, i.e. they are more efficient.
Theoretical calculations show that a Spherical Tokamak using high fields produced by HTS magnets could be significantly smaller than other fusion machines currently proposed. For example, a compact ST power plant would have a volume up to 100 times smaller than ITER – the successor to JET currently being built in France at a cost of €15bn – so would be approximately room-sized rather than aircraft-hangar-sized. This development creates such a substantial commercial opportunity that the company intends to focus its efforts and resources on developing a compact Spherical Tokamak fusion energy source to demonstrate net energy gain.
The Tokamak Energy team consists of world-leading fusion scientists from Culham Laboratory and an experienced CEO with a physics research background and twenty years of high-tech startup business experience.