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Subject Germany's Wendelstein 7-X fusion reactor produces its first flash of hydrogen plasma (nuclear fusion)
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Original Message Experimentation with Germany's newest fusion reactor is beginning to heat up, to temperatures of around 80 million degrees Celsius, to be precise. Having fired up the Wendelstein 7-X to produce helium plasma late last year, researchers have built on their early success to generate its first hydrogen plasma, an event they say begins the true scientific operation of the world's largest fusion stellarator.

After a decade of construction, the Wendelstein 7-X fusion stellarator was finally started up in December last year. The device is designed to be magnetically efficient enough to continuously contain super-hot plasma in its magnetic field for more than 30 minutes at a time. If this vision does one day become a reality, it could help to usher in an era of clean, reliable nuclear fusion power.

But it's all about baby steps for scientists working at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP), which houses the experimental device. Since producing the first helium plasma on December 10 last year, the Wendelstein 7-X has generated more than 300 discharges. The main purpose of these was to clean the plasma vessel walls, which in turn makes for higher temperatures, but it also allowed for testing of scientific instruments and data recording.

[link to www.gizmag.com]

Warp drive, here we come :)
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