Progress in magnetic confinement fusion research
This article reviews the present status of research into controlled fusion using magnetic confinement of ionized gas or plasma. It concentrates on the world's leading magnetic configurations for this purpose, comprising the conventional tokamak, stellarator, reversed field pinch and spherical tokamak. These configurations are described in some detail, along with an introduction to the basics of this line of fusion research, the progress so far and the principal scientific and technical problems outstanding. The environmental implications are briefly addressed, in the context of some power generation alternatives and every-day radiation exposures.