Journal of Fusion Energy

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 447–453 | Cite as

Why Compact Tori for Fusion?

  • S. Woodruff
  • M. Brown
  • E. B. Hooper
  • R. Milroy
  • M. Schaffer
Original Research


A compact torus (CT) has a toroidal magnetic and plasma geometry, but is contained within a simply-connected vacuum vessel such as a cylinder. Spheromaks and field-reversed configurations fall into this category. Compact tori are translatable and have a high engineering beta. The primary benefit of CTs for fusion is the absence of toroidal field and Ohmic Heating coils and the many problems brought on by them. Studying fusion-relevant plasma in simply-connected geometries affords the world fusion program both physics and technology opportunities not found in other configurations. This paper outlines the technology and physics opportunities of compact tori, and presents a cost model based on geometry for comparison with less compact configurations.


Compact tori Spheromak Field reversed configuration 



We acknowledge John Sheffield, and Farokh Najmabadi for outlining the starting point for the discussion of cost and to Ron Miller for indicating where it might go. Thanks also to Charlie Baker for encouraging this line of thinking. Work by E. B. Hooper was performed under the auspices of the US Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract DE-AC52-07NA27344. S. Woodruff performed this work while supported by Department of Energy under subcontract numbers DE-FG02-06ER84449 and DE-FG02-07ER84924.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Woodruff
    • 1
  • M. Brown
    • 2
  • E. B. Hooper
    • 3
  • R. Milroy
    • 4
  • M. Schaffer
    • 5
  1. 1.Woodruff Scientific IncSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Swarthmore CollegeSwarthmoreUSA
  3. 3.Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryLivermoreUSA
  4. 4.Redmond Plasma Physics LabUniversity of WashingtonRedmondUSA
  5. 5.General AtomicsSan DiegoUSA

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