Now, new reports are revealing that there has been some new headway into the objective as the German experimental fusion reactor, the Wendelstein 7-X, is actually proving that the system works.
The ongoing pursuit to provide the world with a relatively unlimited amount of energy by harnessing a power similar to that of the Sun, by essentially creating a small one here on earth through nuclear fusion, has been the ultimate goal for scientist for the past few decades.
The brand new type of stellarator, a device that confines super hot plasma within magnetic fields, was originally commissioned a little over a year ago by the Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald, Germany. The experimental stellarator is the one of the largest ever built, with the purpose of demonstrating that the new five field-period Helias configuration actually works.
The scientist at the IPP recently confirmed that the magnetic cage they had built which uses magnetic fields to keep the plasma from colliding in the reactor walls, actually works as designed. The magnetic fields that is generated by the device is apparently so accurate that it only has a margin of error of just 10 parts per million (ppm).
Despite the success, the scientist still believe that there is still a great deal of work ahead to fully perfect the technology. The advanced version of the Tokamak reactor is different from its predecessors as it uses a more fluid design that allows the plasma to move around in a 3D path.
Scientist working on the project have revealed that the device's generated fields are more precise because of this feature as compared to the donut path followed in older Tokamak reactors.
The Wendelstein 7-X stellarator was recently tested to have been able to hold Hydrogen plasma at 80 megakelvin (MK) for about 0.25s. The main challenge for these types of reactors, for it to be fully usable, is that it must be able to generate more energy that what was originally put in it to start it up and maintain fusion.