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Wendelstein 7-X

Wendelstein 7-X is an experimental stellarator (nuclear fusion reactor) currently being built in Greifswald, Germany by the Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik (IPP), which will be completed by 2015. It is a further development of Wendelstein 7-AS. The purpose of Wendelstein 7-X is to evaluate the main components of a future fusion reactor built using stellarator technology, even if Wendelstein 7-X itself is not an economical fusion power plant.

The goal of fusion research is to produce energy like in the sun. To ignite the fusion, the plasma has to be confined in magnetic fields and heated to 100,000,000 kelvins. Wendelstein 7-X, when finished, will be the largest fusion device created using the stellarator concept. It is planned to operate with up to 30 minutes of continuous plasma discharge, demonstrating an essential feature of a future power plant: permanent operation.
[edit] Design and main components

Wendelstein 7-X is mainly a toroid, consisting of 50 non-planar and 20 planar superconducting magnetic coils, 3.5 m high, which induce a magnetic field that prevents the plasma from colliding with the reactor walls. The 50 non-planar coils are used for adjusting the magnetic field.

The main components are the magnetic coils, cryostat, plasma vessel, divertor and heating systems.

The coils are arranged around a heat insulating cladding which is 16 meters in diameter called the cryostat. A cooling device produces enough liquid helium to carry away 5,000 watts of heating power to cool down the magnets and their enclosure (about 425 metric tons) to superconductivity temperature. The plasma vessel, built of 20 parts, is on the inside, adjusted to the complex shape of the magnetic field. It has 299 holes for plasma heating and observation diagnostics. The whole plant is built of 5 almost identical modules, which are assembled in the experiment hall.

References

* Wendelstein 7-X – Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik

Fusion experiments

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