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May 20--Wendelstein 7-X, a $1.45-billion fusion reactor based on a 1950s design by Lyman Spitzer, is inaugurated at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany.

MAY 20 -- Wendelstein 7-X, a $1.45-billion fusion reactor based on a 1950s design by Lyman Spitzer, is inaugurated at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany. The Wendelstein is the first "stellarator"--Spitzer's name for his invention--to be built since the 1970s. Spitzer's design was abandoned in favor of a less stable but easier to model design known as the tokamak because the stellarator required intensive 3-D simulations to determine the optimal shapes of the coils that created the magnetic field to confine the plasma. The computers of the time did not have sufficient power to perform this work reliably. Wendelstein, which is expected to ignite its first plasma stream next year, is an experimental machine, built to provide insights for the building of the ITER experimental fusion reactor, which will be based on the tokamak construct. Although it Wendelstein not intended to produce power, some have said that the stability of the design makes it very well suited for power production.

DOI: 10.5437/08956308X5705001

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Comment:May 20--Wendelstein 7-X, a $1.45-billion fusion reactor based on a 1950s design by Lyman Spitzer, is inaugurated at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany.
Publication:Research-Technology Management
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Sep 1, 2014
Words:170
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