Pinch fusion reactor

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An assault carrier's pinch fusion reactor

Pinch fusion reactors are nuclear fusion reactors that served as a source of power generation used by the Covenant.[1] Using deuterium and tritium as fuel,[2] pinch fusion reactors replicate the conditions inside the core of a star to generate enormous amounts of plasma and power. These reactors power the weapons and engines of warships,[1] the impulse drives of smaller ships,[3] and even the combat harnesses of Sangheili warriors.[4]

The pinch fusion reactor serves as the primary source of power for Covenant warships, though a handful of classes were powered by shrine-cores, power plants extracted from Forerunner machinery.[5]


The reactors use focused artificial gravity generators to initiate and sustain a fusion reaction, replicating the conditions inside the core of stars. This process generates an enormous amount of power and plasma.[1][6] Through deuterium-tritium fusion, the plasma that is generated is compressed and heated by pinched magnetic fields.[2] Non-essential ship systems may be rendered inert or disconnected to divert the output of the reactors entirely to specific systems, such as armaments or propulsion.[7] The reactors are surprisingly primitive for the Covenant,[2] and are quite volatile.[6] If their cooling systems become disabled or their maximum heat loads are exceeded, they can often fail explosively[8]—the reactors can detonate with the power of a small supernova should containment efforts fail.[1] Each reactor on Unyielding Hierophant provide 512 terawatts .[9]

Applications and usage[edit]

Pinch fusion reactors are most notably used on Covenant warships, powering the weapons and engines. The Sinaris-pattern heavy destroyer has two pinch fusion reactors; the primary reactor powers the destroyer's powerful superheavy excavation beam, while the secondary reactor powers the rest of the ship.[1] The largest pinch fusion reactor of the Ket-pattern battlecruiser provides the energy needed to ignite plasma torpedoes and charge its excavation beam.[10] The impulse drives fitted on fighters, dropships, and shuttles are powered by a small pinch fusion reactor.[3] Scaled-down reactors are used to power the Covenant's Type-38 "Tyrant" anti-air cannons and Sangheili combat harnesses, with a modified version being incorporated into the Sangheili-designed HELIOSKRILL-class Mjolnir.[4] Unyielding Hierophant was also powered by pinch fusion reactors.[8]

In order to obtain fuel for their pinch fusion reactors, the Covenant operate various groundside facilities on worlds rich in tritium and deuterium, including hydro-processing centers[11] and massive refineries such as that on Pegasi Delta.[12]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Halo: Warfleet, p. 61
  2. ^ a b c Halo: First Strike, p. 193 (2003); p. 234 (2010)
  3. ^ a b Halo: Warfleet, p. 59
  4. ^ a b Halo Waypoint: Community Update (07/29/16): The Finals Countdown
  5. ^ Halo: Warfleet, p. 65
  6. ^ a b Halo: Warfleet, p. 91
  7. ^ Halo: Warfleet, p. 71
  8. ^ a b Halo: First Strike, p. 305 (2003)
  9. ^ Halo: First Strike, page 305
  10. ^ Halo: Warfleet, p. 62
  11. ^ Xbox Live's Major Nelson: News From Halo Fest
  12. ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, p. 15