Physics Department Colloquia

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CFS and the new public-private fusion energy landscape
Date: Friday, March 11th
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Robert Mumgaard, CFS Energy
Abstract: With the successful demonstration of its 20T, full-scale toroidal field model coil in September 2021, Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) is now entering the SPARC Era. Over the next four years, CFS and its partners will build, commission and operate the SPARC net-energy tokamak. In parallel, CFS will demonstrate the fusion technology advances required for the first generation of the ARC commercial fusion power plant, which is due to be commissioned in the early 2030’s.This is motivated by the market requirements of the global clean energy transition, and in particular the requirements for fusion to take its place as an industrial energy concern capable of combating climate change. CFS as a company and fusion as a technology are well positioned to reach these goals. CFS has raised over $2b in private funding to date and built a global network of over 40 partner institutions. CFS' roadmap is highly aligned with the strategic goals identified by the US fusion community and National Academy of Sciences, and is involved in multiple public-private partnerships, including many supported in part by competitive DOE awards. Supported by an ARPA-E award, CFS is building 20T all-HTS end coils for the University of Wisconsin's axisymmetric mirror (or WHAM) experiment, demonstrating the speed and flexibility that private companies can bring to the academic ecosystem. In this talk, CFS’ CEO, Bob Mumgaard, will present an overview of the new public-private fusion landscape, CFS’ current status and position in that landscape, and the open problems and challenges on the path to commercial fusion energy.
Host: Cary Forest
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