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Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) is a spherical tokamak concept proposed by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and funded by UK government.[1][2] The project aims to produce net electricity from fusion on a timescale of 2040.

In September 2019 the United Kingdom announced a planned £200-million (US$248-million) investment to produce a design for a fusion facility named the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP). The funding covers the initial five year concept design phase, while the total capital costs are estimated to a few billion dollars. Once the concept design phase is complete, a second detailed engineering design phase will precede construction of the device, envisaged for 2032. STEP should be operational by the early 2040s.

Plans

The planned UK facility would be based on a ‘tokamak’ design that uses magnetic fields to confine a plasma of heavy isotopes of hydrogen, tritium and deuterium, which fuse under extreme heat and pressure. STEP would be a spherical tokamak that holds the plasma in a cored-apple shape. UKAEA’s MAST Upgrade spherical tokamak device, due to start operation in late 2020, will heavily inform the STEP design. With a total diameter of only around 10 m, STEP will be relatively small in comparison to ITER, the most advanced tokamak fusion reactor to date. This greatly reduces the cost, but also puts higher stress on the applied materials and will not allow for tritium breeding inside the device.[3]
See also

Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak, built in UK, and upgraded
ITER, (originally the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), under construction

References

uk-wants-to-build-worlds-first-fusion-power-plant-20-years-from-now 2019
Gibney, Elizabeth (2019-10-11). "UK hatches plan to build world's first fusion power plant". Nature. doi:10.1038/d41586-019-03039-9. PMID 33037417.
Daniel Clerry (2020-12-02). "U.K. seeks site for world's first fusion power station". science magazine. doi:10.1126/science.abf9768.

vte

Fusion power, processes and devices
Core topics

Nuclear fusion
Timeline List of experiments Nuclear power Nuclear reactor Atomic nucleus Fusion energy gain factor Lawson criterion Magnetohydrodynamics Neutron Plasma

Processes,
methods
Confinement
type
Gravitational

Alpha process Triple-alpha process CNO cycle Fusor Helium flash Nova
remnants Proton-proton chain Carbon-burning Lithium burning Neon-burning Oxygen-burning Silicon-burning R-process S-process

Magnetic

Dense plasma focus Field-reversed configuration Levitated dipole Magnetic mirror
Bumpy torus Reversed field pinch Spheromak Stellarator Tokamak
Spherical Z-pinch

Inertial

Bubble (acoustic) Laser-driven Magnetized Liner Inertial Fusion

Electrostatic

Fusor Polywell

Other forms

Colliding beam Magnetized target Migma Muon-catalyzed Pyroelectric

Devices, experiments
Magnetic confinement
Tokamak

International

ITER DEMO PROTO

Americas

Canada STOR-M United States Alcator C-Mod ARC
SPARC DIII-D Electric Tokamak LTX NSTX
PLT TFTR Pegasus Brazil ETE Mexico Novillo [es]

Asia,
Oceania

China CFETR EAST
HT-7 SUNIST India ADITYA SST-1 Japan JT-60 QUEST [ja] Pakistan GLAST South Korea KSTAR

Europe

European Union JET Czech Republic COMPASS GOLEM [cs] France TFR WEST Germany ASDEX Upgrade TEXTOR Italy FTU IGNITOR Portugal ISTTOK Russia T-15 Switzerland TCV United Kingdom MAST-U START STEP

Stellarator
Americas

United States CNT CTH HIDRA HSX Model C NCSX Costa Rica SCR-1

Asia,
Oceania

Australia H-1NF Japan Heliotron J LHD

Europe

Germany WEGA Wendelstein 7-AS Wendelstein 7-X Spain TJ-II Ukraine Uragan-2M
Uragan-3M [uk]

RFP

Italy RFX United States MST

Magnetized target

Canada SPECTOR United States LINUS FRX-L – FRCHX Fusion Engine

Other

Russia GDT United States Astron LDX Lockheed Martin CFR MFTF
TMX Perhapsatron PFRC Riggatron SSPX United Kingdom Sceptre Trisops ZETA

Inertial confinement
Laser
Americas

United States Argus Cyclops Janus LIFE Long path NIF Nike Nova OMEGA Shiva

Asia

Japan GEKKO XII

Europe

European Union HiPER Czech Republic Asterix IV (PALS) France LMJ LULI2000 Russia ISKRA United Kingdom Vulcan

Non-laser

United States PACER Z machine

Applications

Thermonuclear weapon
Pure fusion weapon

International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility

Physics Encyclopedia

World

Index

Hellenica World - Scientific Library

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