Wendelstein 7-X Nuclear Fusion Machine Receives Positive Feedback from Physicists

Wendelstein 7-X Nuclear Fusion Machine Receives Positive Feedback from Physicists

Wendelstein 7-X Nuclear Fusion machine developed by researchers in Germany has received support from scientific community as the reactors works as expected. The Wendelstein 7-X Nuclear Fusion reactor uses very complex stellerator system to operate. Nuclear fusion generates high amount of energy and scientists have warned about difficulty to control this high amount of energy. Nuclear stellerator concept was showcased by Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics researchers last year.

Nuclear fusion reactions can be tested by either using a tokamak or a stellarator. While a tokamak uses two-dimensional magnetic fields to contain high-energy plasma. The technology is currently tested at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center.

The research project in Germany is the first to test stellarator. The stellarator technology performs same function as tokamak but works with 3D magnetic fields. After carefully testing and working with proof-of-concept stellarator named Wendelstein 7-X in Germany, researchers have published their findings in journal Nature Communications.

The research team has confirmed that Wendelstein 7-X is working with ‘unprecedented accuracy’. The research team added, “Wendelstein 7-X has just started operation, with the aim to show that the earlier weaknesses of this concept have been addressed successfully, and that the intrinsic advantages of the concept persist.”

Nuclear fusion reactions power many stars and these reactions have been ongoing for millions of years. Scientists have earlier informed that once we are able to run controlled nuclear fusion reactions, we can solve all our energy requirements. Nuclear fusion offers clean energy without any residual or harmful waste products.

Fusion reactions require extremely high temperature and pressure. Generating that kind of temperature and pressure is extremely difficult to achieve on Earth. This is the reason behind little improvement of nuclear fusion energy generation.

A report published by Science Alert informed, “Unfortunately, current fusion reactors, including the W7-X, are still not efficient enough to produce more energy than they use. However, the success of W7-X gives the researchers hope that the next generation of fusion reactors will be able to reach that limit.”

“The carefully tailored topology of nested magnetic surfaces needed for good confinement is realized, and that the measured deviations are smaller than one part in 100,000,” the researchers wrote in the study. “This is a significant step forward in stellarator research, since it shows that the complicated and delicate magnetic topology can be created and verified with the required accuracy.”