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GLOBUS-M Tokamak

Tech Area / Field

  • FUS-MCS/Magnetic Confinement Systems/Fusion

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Nietzold D

Leading Institute
Russian Academy of Sciences / Physical Technical Institute, Russia, St Petersburg

Supporting institutes

  • NPO Klimov Plant, Russia, St Petersburg\nTRINITI, Russia, Moscow reg., Troitsk\nNIIEFA Efremov, Russia, St Petersburg


  • Princeton University / Plasma Physics Laboratory, USA, NJ, Princeton\nCulham Laboratory, UK, Culham\nOak Ridge National Laboratory, USA, TN, Oak Ridge\nColumbia University / Applied Physics Department, USA, CA, Washington\nENEA, Italy, Frascati

Project summary

Conventional tokamak reactors, as presently envisaged, are large and costly. These fusion reactors are designed to have a major radius of ~ 7-8 m, a plasma radius of 2-3 m, and a cost of several billion dollars. Reactors of much smaller size and less cost could be built if the aspect ratio (ratio of major radius to minor radius) can be decreased. Similarly, small, cost-effective fusion devices could be constructed for testing fusion technologies such as pertors, nuclear blankets, etc., which are critically needed in the development of fusion energy. Low aspect-ratio tokamak operation has recently been accomplished in the START experiment at Culham, Laboratory, England.

The success of the START experiment has given impetus to extending low-aspect-ratio tokamak tests to the next logical size. The START experiment has a major radius of 20 cm and a plasma radius of 15 cm, and has achieved remarkable plasma conditions for its small size. It typically operates with a peak plasma current of 100,000 A (but has reached 220,000 A) which decays during a ~ 0.02 sec. pulse. The next logical step would be to increase the plasma dimensions, the plasma current, and the pulse length. The GLOBUS-M tokamak has been proposed to meet these goals. It will have a major radius of 35 cm, a minor radius of 22 cm and plasma currents of 250,000-300,000 A. The plasma current will be maintained for ~ 0.2 s.

The goal of this project is the design and construction of a low-aspect-ratio tokamak called GLOBUS-M. This tokamak would be a joint U.S. and R.F. fusion experiment located at the A. F. loffe Physico-Technical Institute in St. Petersburg. Engineering and construction will be carried out by former USSR defense industry companies. It will have plasma currents of up to 300,000 A, making it the one of the largest of a new line of spherical tokamaks (ST) which have been recently proposed.

The loffe Institute is the lead institution of the GLOBUS-M project. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Northern Plant, the Efremov Institute, and TRINITI are partners with the Ioffe Institute. GLOBUS-M will be engineered and constructed largely by the Northern Plant (Leningradsky Sevemy Zavod) in St. Petersburg which, until recently, has been mostly devoted to defense production. Work will also be performed by a large number of former weapons scientists and engineers employed at the Efremov Institute and at TRINITL

The GLOBUS-M project will last for three years. Considerable progress has already been made during the last twelve months on this project by the Ioffe Institute under a contract for the conceptual design of GLOBUS-M from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Energy). Engineers from the Northern Plant and the Efremov Institute have been working closely with scientists from the Ioffe Institute during this design effort. In the first two years of the ISTC-sponsored project, the GLOBUS-M tokamak will be designed and constructed basically at the Northern Plant. The third year will be for installation and shake down.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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