World’s Largest Nuclear Fusion Reactor to Switch On Next Month

Patti MayonnaiseNovember 16, 2015747 Views
Photo Credit: Gizmodo.com Photo Credit: Gizmodo.com

While it may seem like something taken off the pages of a science fiction novel, the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarton fusion reactor is actually legit. Furthermore, it’s set to go online just next month. Reactors like the W7-X produce great quantities of energy simply by using massive coiled superconductors to make powerful magnetic fields which contain hydrogen gas heated to the point of atomic fusion. It is reported that the W7-X brings the stellarator concept to an entirely new level as it features a 16 meter wide ring that is comprised of 250 access ports containing 50 6 ton magnetic coils.

 

 

Costing well over $1 billion, the W7X took nearly two decades to construct. However, Science News reports that the labor and cost which went into building the stellarator design may prove well worth the investment. The innovative new reactor may hold some substantial advantages over its competing tokamak technology.
Daniel Clery of Science News wrote, “Once started, stellarators naturally purr along in a steady state and they are not prone to the potentially metal-bending magnetic disruptions that plague tokamaks.” Although tokamaks are much easier to build, they are only operable for brief periods of time which are subject to intense magnetic disruptions.

Image via Wordlesstech.com

Image via Wordlesstech.com

Considering the extensive cost and effort placed in developing this project, Germany is looking forward to testing in just a matter of weeks when the nuclear regulatory body gives the go-ahead to start the W7X. Hoping all goes well, such technology may potentially be a clean energy solution for our planet in the near future.

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