11 July 2024

Thailand’s first tokamak device is ready to start operations for fusion energy research in July, after a successful trial on April 21st, according to Thailand’s Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT).

Named “Thai Tokamak-1”, the device was developed by TINT based on the Tokamak HT-6M, provided by the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

A tokamak is a machine that confines a plasma using magnetic fields in a donut shape, called a torus. Fusion energy scientists believe that tokamaks are the leading plasma confinement concept for future fusion power plants.

TINT said that, in the next ten years, Thailand is expected to design and build its own tokamak machine for domestic use, with an aim to make Thailand ASEAN’s hub of fusion technology development. 

The Chinese Tokamak HT-6M parts were delivered to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on July 15th last year, under a memorandum of understanding signed in August 2017, to be used for research into high-temperature plasma and fusion energy, which may drive electricity generation in the future.

Tokamak technology can also be applied to industrial, agricultural and medical science uses.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the exhibition of the tokamak device, held Tuesday at Government House by the Ministry of Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovations.

The prime minister praised the Thai scientists for the development and urged them to further their research to create new innovations which ensure energy security in the future and to increase Thailand’s competitiveness in science and technology.