It's old technology, so what's the big deal?
Some things won't change. So we'd best remember Art Martella's immortal wisdom in "Eris Helps Me Bowl", "Say it with me now: IT'S BEEN DONE."
Seriously, people have been speculating about this since the 1950s, and trying to do it since the 1970s. I have been reading about this idea now and then since I was a child, and I'm now an old guy. After all, anybody with a big batch of superconductors can do it, but is it practical? It wasn't then, and it isn't now, and won't be until someone devises a superconductor which works at reasonable temperatures.
This isn't a reflection on the writer, so much as it is on the ecosystem of science writers who resurrect this stuff, but can't be bothered to learn anything about the history of technology.
And it isn't uncommon.
I recall pointing out on Slash Dot, fifteen years ago, that Toshiba hadn't *invented* the ocean-thermal-gradient power plant, that India had built one in the 1960s. I thought it sad that Toshiba had ignored all the incremental development of that technology since then, and were making the same mistakes all over. They thought I was spoiling the party and reacted in the time-honored manner of surly children.
So while we're at it, let's carve that final line on the lintel of the temple entrance....
LOGICA DEFECTA STERCUS TAURI EXPLORANDUS EST.