It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
originally posted by: bandersnatch
They flipped the switch for a brief trial and created a helium plasma for nano seconds Wednesday......(www.cbc.ca...)
The Wendelstein 7-X fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald produced its first hydrogen plasma on 3 February 2016.
The University’s nuclear fusion device, the Hybrid Illinois Device for Research and Applications, or HIDRA, will finally be completed and will form its first plasma Friday.
This process will allow researchers like Dr. Daniel Andruczyk, the head of the HIDRA project in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering (NPRE), to conduct tests with the machine.
“We’ll get our first plasma (Friday). It’ll be the first official start of the machine. That’s really exciting,” Andruczyk said. “All machines go through this: you have your first plasma, and from there you start to do experiments.”
Andruczyk’s former colleagues told him HIDRA was to be replaced by a newer, more powerful device. He warned Ruzic, who then had to overcome political and financial obstacles to bring the machine to the University.
“He called me up and said, ‘Hey do we want a stellarator?’ And I said, ‘Of course we want a stellarator.’” Professor Ruzic said.
This is an incredibly rare experience. The University is one of only four schools, the others being Auburn, Wisconsin and Columbia, that let undergraduates work on a fusion device.
The experiments started in February and continued until March 2016. After that, it was planned to open the plasma vessel again to enable the installation of carbon tiles to protect the vessel walls. This will make it possible to reach higher heat power, higher temperatures and longer discharges of around one second. Further phased developments are planned until 30-minute discharges can be generated in approximately four years' time, and it will be possible to test whether the Wendelstein 7-X can fulfil its optimization targets at a full heat power of 20 megawatts.
Researchers at the Technology Institute of Costa Rica (TEC) announced the first discharge of high temperature plasma in Latin America on Wednesday, joining an elite group of countries who have made advances in harnessing nuclear fusion to produce clean energy.
To produce the discharge, TEC physicists used a device called a stellarator built on the university’s campus in Cartago province.
The first discharge of Costa Rica’s Stellarator-1 (SCR-1) lasted only 4.5 seconds but is considered the most complex applied physics research conducted in the country, TEC officials said during a special ceremony held Wednesday and broadcast live.
Costa Rica is just the sixth country in the world to have developed a stellarator, along with the U.S., Japan, Spain, Australia and Germany, according to a news release from TEC.
The experiments were concluded as scheduled on 10 March . Meanwhile the plasma vessel has been re-opened in order to mount 6,000 carbon tiles to protect the vessel walls and insert the divertor: The tiles are installed on the wall of the plasma vessel in ten broad strips conforming to the winding contour of the plasma edge. This is because at the edge of the plasma vessel energy and particles encroach on limited sectors of the vessel wall. If these wall sectors are protected by special divertor plates, the impinging particles can be neutralised and pumped off along with undesirable impurities. This makes the divertor an important tool for controlling impurities and the density of the plasma
Installation of the 6,200 differently shaped wall tiles and 10 divertor modules must be done to a precision of one to two millimetres, this being no easy matter in the asymmetric plasma vessel: "After exact measurement of the inside wall we therefore compare the wall dimensions with the tile measurements by a numerical method and modify, where necessary, the tiles with a computer-controlled milling cutter", explains Mathias Müller from Greifswald's Technical Services.
Installation will last till mid-2017: Wendelstein 7-X with clad wall will then be fit for high-power plasmas with heating powers of up to eight megawatts lasting ten seconds. After thorough testing of the divertor function the graphite tiles in subsequent extensions are to be replaced by carbon-fibre-reinforced carbon elements that are also water-cooled. In about four years this will make discharges of up to 30 minutes possible in which it can be checked at a heating power of 10 megawatts whether Wendelstein 7-X can also permanently achieve its optimisation objectives.
The Department of Energy [DOE] awarded a $1.05 million grant to the University’s nuclear fusion device, the Hybrid Illinois Device for Research and Applications, or HIDRA. This grant, the first one for the machine, will allow researchers at the University’s Center for Plasma Material Interactions to conduct experiments with the HIDRA.
“The grant is specifically for developing liquid lithium technology to be run inside the fusion reactor as a component that faces the plasma,” Daniel Andruczyk said, the head of the HIDRA department at the CPMI.
Stewart Prager has stepped down as director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in New Jersey, the lab announced in a statement yesterday. Prager's departure comes in the aftermath of a malfunction that has knocked the lab's main facility out of action—for perhaps as long as a year.
[In] August a magnetic coil failed, rendering the machine [National Spherical Torus Experiment - Upgraded (NSTX-U)] inoperable. Two teams of researchers from PPPL and beyond are now studying the malfunction, says Larry Bernard, spokesperson for PPPL. "There's a forensic team that's trying to figure out what went wrong and a design team to figure out how to fix it," he says.
Now that Princeton researchers are looking into the cause of their reactor’s malfunction, they’re noting that part of the problem may have arisen during the upgrade process, which made the reactor twice as powerful as its predecessor. As Nature reports, ” … a more careful analysis could have prevented the reactor failure.” And Stephen Dean, president of Fusion Power Associates, an advocacy group in Gaithersburg, Maryland, told the publication, “Mistakes like this do sometimes get made, but with all of the experience the fusion program has, it should not have happened this way.”