Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:


Please enter your email address:

@

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Crane operator | A cabin in the sky

    There are times, at dusk, when the ITER construction platform resembles an airport, with roads and buildings illuminated by yellow and white lights. From their [...]

    Read more

  • Assembly | A colossal task made manageable

    For the execution of work during the next project phase—machine and plant assembly up to First Plasma—the ITER Organization has chosen a contractual approach th [...]

    Read more

  • Neutral Beam Test Facility | A new agreement for a new era

    The ITER Organization and the Italian consortium Consorzio RFX* have signed a new agreement governing the construction and operation of the ITER Neutral Beam Te [...]

    Read more

  • Load tests | Heavyweight champion

    The Assembly Hall, with its two giant tools towering 20 metres above ground, is one of the most spectacular locations on the ITER site. When a dummy load weighi [...]

    Read more

  • Fusion's new pioneers | How to go fast enough to make a difference

    Last month in New York, the Stellar Energy Foundation and the Fusion Industry Association co-hosted an invitation-only workshop: 'Roadmap to the Fusion Energy E [...]

    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