The high magnetic field approach to fusion research has led to the development of both the physics and the technology basis for experiments, which can produce well-confined plasmas that can ignite by fusion reactions. In particular, the Ignitor experiment has been the first to be proposed and designed to achieve this objective. The physics and technology basis for Ignitor have been provided' by two experimental programs involving a sequence of high magnetic field machines: the Alcator program of MIT, that was the first to develop machines: the Alcator program of MIT, that was the first to develop upon the principles of the tokamak approach outside Russia, and the Frascati Torus program of Italy. Alcator remains one of the three major programs on magnetically confined plasmas in the US. To prove the actual feasibility of the Ignitor device, full size prototypes of all the major components of its core have been constructed. The site where the machine is to be installed, the Rondissone-ENEL Center of Italy, is a major node of the European electrical grid. One of the main reasons why Ignitor remains unique in its estimated ability to reach ignition is that the high poloidal magnetic fields combined with the appropriate confinement configuration of which it is capable can ensure the stability of plasmas with the high pressures (e.g. 3 MPa) at which the ignition process can take place and make it possible to achieve this objective without relying on externally injected heating systems.
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