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Question:
How many different types of fusion reactors have been developed?



Replies:
The main categories of fusion reactors are magnetic confinement and inertial confinement, and each category includes several types of reactors. Most work done today focuses on Tokamaks (one of the magnetic confinement reactors) or laser ignition (inertial confinement). The ITER project being built in France is a Tokamak, while the National Ignition Facility that is just coming into operation at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a laser ignition facility.

The Wikipedia article on Fusion Reactors

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_reactor

has a nice summary of the history of the various types of fusion devices that have been considered since the mid-twentieth century and also a good table categorizing these devices.

Laural Briggs
NE Division, Argonne National Laboratory



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