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Magnetic Confinement

Last updated: October 31, 2017

What Does Magnetic Confinement Mean?

Magnetic confinement is a mechanism used in the generation of fusion power. It makes use of the conductivity of plasma in order to confine it within magnetic fields. Nuclear fusion requires very high temperatures that no known material can tolerate, and magnetic confinement is used to prevent the superheated plasma from coming into contact with the walls of the container in which fusion takes place.

Safeopedia Explains Magnetic Confinement

This technique is relatively new, and the best-known example can be found in the tokamak Fusion Test Reactor at Princeton University. The construction of a fusion plant using tokamak magnetic confinement methods was initiated in France in 2007. The other confinement mechanism under consideration is inertial confinement fusion, but this has not been as thoroughly researched as magnetic confinement fusion. In the event of a breach of a fusion reactor, the plasma would cool quickly and nuclear reactions would stop. Thus, fusion reactors are considered safe compared to traditional methods of nuclear power generation.


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