Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Cryostat base | Grand opening soon

    Picture a giant soup plate, 30 metres in diameter, slowing descending into a deep concrete cylinder. Track the near imperceptible movement of the double overhea [...]

    Read more

  • Research | ITER Scientist Fellows are at the cutting edge

    In the area of cutting-edge research—and particularly the sophisticated modelling of plasmas—the project is benefitting from the assistance of world-renowned ex [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | Testing the load path

    Teams are preparing now for the commissioning and dynamic load tests that will be carried out in the coming weeks on the assembly bridge cranes. The load tests, [...]

    Read more

  • In memoriam | Physicist John Wesson

    The theoretical physicist, author of a major reference book on magnetic confinement fusion in tokamaks, was known to many members of the ITER community. Some [...]

    Read more

  • CODAC | The "invisible system" that makes all things possible

    It is easy to spot all the big equipment going into ITER; what is not so visible is the underlying software that makes the equipment come alive. Local control [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

W7-X stellarator : the step-by-step march toward first plasma

Isabella Milch, Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik

Preparing a fusion device for first plasma is a step-by-step, carefully monitored process. In the last two months at Wendelstein 7-X, superconducting temperatures of 4 K were achieved, the vessel was sealed tight, and evacuation (to create a vacuum) began. In May, the magnets will be tested for the first time under power. Photo: IPP, Torsten Bräuer (Click to view larger version...)
Preparing a fusion device for first plasma is a step-by-step, carefully monitored process. In the last two months at Wendelstein 7-X, superconducting temperatures of 4 K were achieved, the vessel was sealed tight, and evacuation (to create a vacuum) began. In May, the magnets will be tested for the first time under power. Photo: IPP, Torsten Bräuer
Preparations for the operation of the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device in Greifswald, Germany are in full swing. In advance of the decisive magnet cooling stage many preparatory steps have been carried out, including the cleaning and flushing of the numerous helium cooling pipes and the start-up of the cryoplant (which had undergone thorough testing at an earlier date). 

On 13 February the gradual cooling of the cryoplant got off to a start. All systems were carefully monitored during the step-by-step process, with particular attention to checking for leaks in the piping or cooling systems.

Four weeks later, on 10 March, the target temperature of 4 K was attained—an essential milestone, as well as a prerequisite, for superconductivity in the magnets. Verifications will still take some time yet; presumably in May the magnets will be tested for the first time under power.

On 12 March the last ports in the plasma vessel were sealed vacuum-tight and evacuation of the vessel could begin. In addition to readying diagnostic equipment and working on switchgear and cabling, the verification of leak-tightness in the numerous connections and seals is proceeding. 

A "first plasma" in Wendelstein 7-X is expected by the end of 2015, at the latest.

Read the original article on the IPP website.


return to the latest published articles