|Major radius||2.43 m|
|Minor Radius||0.7 m|
|Plasma volume||50 m3|
|Magnetic field||3.6 T|
The T-15 is a Russian (previously Soviet) nuclear fusion research reactor located at the Kurchatov Institute, which is based on the (Soviet-invented) tokamak design. It was the first industrial prototype fusion reactor to use superconducting magnets to control the plasma. These enormous superconducting magnets confined the plasma the reactor produced, but failed to sustain it for more than just a few seconds. Despite not being immediately applicable, this new technological advancement proved to the USSR that they were on the right path. In the original (circular cross-section with limiter) shape, a toroidal chamber design, it had a major radius of 2.43m and minor radius 0.7m.
The T-15 achieved creating its first thermonuclear plasma in 1988 and the reactor remained operational until 1995. The plasma created was thought to solve a number of issues engineers have struggled with in the past.[clarification needed] This combined with the USSR's desire for cheaper energy ensured the continuing progress of the T-15 under Mikhail S. Gorbachev. It was designed to replace the country's use of gas and coal as the primary sources of energy.
From 1996 to 1998 a series of upgrades were made to the reactor, in order to conduct preliminary research for the design work on the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor or ITER. One of the upgrades converted the tokamak to a D-shape divertor design with a major plasma radius of 1.5m. ITER will also use superconducting magnets. The nuclear predecessors before such as the T-10 were capable of reaching 16,700,000°C (30,000,000°F). This increased temperature made it possible to introduce the electron cyclotron resonance (ECR), ion cyclotron resonance (ICR), and neutral atoms, as to maintain the reactions.
2010 upgrade to T-15MD
In the year 2010 it was decided to upgrade the reactor. On the basis of the T-15 there will be created a nuclear fusion-fission hybrid reactor, intended to use the neutrons generated by a core fusion reactor component to incite fission in otherwise nonfissile fuels, and to explore the feasibility of such a system for power generation. The upgraded machine is called T-15MD and is currently expected to be ready in 2019.
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