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Tokamaks are fusion machines that are under development to produce baseload power. Baseload power is power that is produced 24/7 and provides the base for powering the electric grid. The International Tokamak Experimental Reactor (ITER) is an international project that will produce net power from a Tokamak. Net power means the Tokamak produces more energy than it consumes. Consumption includes heating the plasma, controlling it, and powering all the auxiliary systems needed to maintain the plasma. It will allow researchers to study the physics of the Tokamak which will hopefully lead the way toward operational machines. A Tokamak is shown in Figure 6.1. The inner poloidal field coils act like a transformer to initiate a plasma current. The outer poloidal and toroidal coils maintain the plasma. The plasma current itself produces its own magnetic field and induces currents in the other coils.
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