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Sat, Nov-07-2015 00:21:35

World’s largest fusion reactor

In Germany, a team of researchers are preparing to switch on the largest nuclear fusion plant in the world. Hosted at the Max Planck Institute, the stellarator, also known as Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X), is awaiting regulatory approval for a launch later this month.Unlike conventional nuclear reactors that rely on the breakdown of molecules and produce a hazardous waste, nuclear fusion generates energy by fusing molecules together. The nuclear fusion reactor uses high temperatures of more than 180 million degrees Fahrenheit to heat plasma to the point that the electrons are extracted from the atoms. Powerful magnetic fields, up to 50 six-ton magnetic coils in the case of the W7-X, then contain and control the plasma. Under these extreme conditions within the reactor, the normal repulsive forces between the electrons are overcome and the ions fuse together to produce energy. This fusion is the same process that fuels our sun.