in application of Fusion power, even if it were doable at present, given the multi-million degree operation, how does such a system dispose of waste heat if plasma is magnetically confined?

  • $\begingroup$ This sounds more like an engineering problem than a physics problem. $\endgroup$
    – Philipp
    Apr 13 at 8:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ the whole point of fusion power plants is to extract the heat from the plasma and make it steam. $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    Apr 13 at 8:17

1 Answer 1


No matter how the plasma is confined, it will lose heat to its surroundings.

This heat is not waste at any rate, it is what we want in the first place.

Failing everything else, this will be done radiatively - to the walls of whatever container is used to hold the party.

These walls will be cooled - probably by boiling water, all the way to the dry steam. We already know how to use the steam.

Now, we already have a waste heat - the exhausted wet steam that has low temperature needs to be liquified in order to be fed back to the reactor cooling.

We already know how to cool the waste steam. Cooling towers, large natural water bodies, district heating, maybe water to air heat exchangers - whatever is practical at the particular site.

How 19th century, isn't it?

Of course, other approaches can also prove viable - magnetohydrodynamic generation, thermal water splitting, etc, etc...

Give me the heat. The rest is engineering.

(In fact, the theory of fusion is generally done, so the fusion itself is an engineering problem as well. An unsolved one, as of now.)

  • $\begingroup$ Unsolved in terms of a commercially viable net-energy-producing unit, sure. Fusing things here on Earth is done all the time. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Apr 13 at 13:21

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