High-Temperature Superconductor Cable Will Speed Up Development of Nuclear Fusion

Commonwealth Fusion Systems new high-temperature superconductor (HTS) cable can be engineered into magnets directly applicable to the high magnetic field approach to fusion. The new HTS cable, called VIPER, can carry over fifty thousand amps of current with magnetic fields over 10 Tesla.

Some fusion magnets need to turn on and off continually. VIPER was tested for thousands of on-off cycles and saw minimal performance degradation. VIPER’s main innovation is combining hundreds of individual tapes into a soldered, monolithic block of conductor.

A variant of VIPER will be used in an ARPA-E funded program to make a fast-ramping, high-field central solenoid magnet capable of initiating and sustaining plasma current in a tokamak device on its own. This magnet will lower the cost and complexity of commercial fusion power plants.

Superconductor Science and Technology – VIPER: an industrially scalable high-current high-temperature superconductor cable