Enable Recite

Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

Your email address will only be used for the purpose of sending you the ITER Organization publication(s) that you have requested. ITER Organization will not transfer your email address or other personal data to any other party or use it for commercial purposes.

If you change your mind, you can easily unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe option at the bottom of an email you've received from ITER Organization.

For more information, see our Privacy policy.

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Thermal shield | Practising the embrace

    In the ITER Assembly Hall, fitting tests are underway on two outboard thermal shield panels. Once paired, the 11-metre-tall, silver-plated components will [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | This circle is for the ring

    Another concentric circle has been drawn at the bottom of the machine assembly pit, formed by the temporary supports recently installed for poloidal field coil [...]

    Read more

  • Feeders | Multi-lane thruways into the machine

    The ITER superconducting coils thrive on a simple diet of electrical power and cooling fluids. The industrial installation on site is scaled to provide both, bu [...]

    Read more

  • Cryostat Workshop | Top lid enters the stage

    In this vast workshop over the past five years, the different sections of the ITER cryostat have been assembled and welded under India's responsibility. The bas [...]

    Read more

  • Blanket first wall | Manufacturing kicks off in Europe

    For one of the most demanding technological components of the ITER machine—the first wall of the blanket—the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy made the [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

First plasma for Wendelstein 7-X fusion device

10 December 2015: Wendelstein 7-X achieves first plasma. The helium plasma reached a temperature of about one million degrees Celsius for one tenth of a second. Photo: IPP (coloured black-and-white photo) (Click to view larger version...)
10 December 2015: Wendelstein 7-X achieves first plasma. The helium plasma reached a temperature of about one million degrees Celsius for one tenth of a second. Photo: IPP (coloured black-and-white photo)
On 10 December 2015 the first helium plasma was produced in the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald, Germany. Following nine years of construction work, more than a million assembly hours, and one year of integrated testing, experimental operation has now commenced according to plan. Wendelstein 7-X is the world's largest stellarator-type fusion device.

"The achievement of first plasma in Wendelstein 7-X marks an important milestone in the development of fusion energy: the device is the world's largest advanced stellarator and opens a new era in research into magnetically confined fusion plasmas," said David Campbell, head of the Science & Operations Division at ITER. "Its design is based on a sophisticated optimization of the magnetic field geometry which is predicted to allow the full exploitation of the potential of the stellarator configuration for fusion plasma confinement. Although smaller than ITER and not designed for operation with deuterium-tritium plasmas, the detailed studies of fusion plasma performance and physics processes to which the Wendelstein research program opens the gateway will be significant for the future development of fusion energy."

The operating team in the control room started up the magnetic field, initiated the computer-operated control system, fed approximately one milligram of helium gas into the evacuated plasma vessel, and switched on the microwave heating for a short 1,8 megawatt pulse. The machine's first plasma, which could be observed by the installed cameras and measuring devices, lasted one tenth of a second and achieved a temperature of around one million degrees.

"We're starting with a plasma produced from the noble gas helium," explained project leader Thomas Klinger. "We're not changing over to the actual investigation object, a hydrogen plasma, until next year. This is because it's easier to achieve the plasma state with helium."

"We're very satisfied," added Hans-Stephan Bosch, whose division is responsible for the operation of the device. "Everything went according to plan."

The next task will be to extend the duration of the plasma discharges and to investigate the best method of producing and heating helium plasmas using microwaves. After a break for New Year, confinement studies will continue in January, which will prepare the way for producing the first plasma from hydrogen. 

Read the full press release in English and in German.
 
Learn more about Wendelstein 7-X and the stellarator type of fusion device on the IPP website.




return to the latest published articles