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Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:26 am
Re: W7 X
Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:15 pm
Good article but rather short. I will add a few details (some published, some awaiting to be published.)
The W-7X appears to be working well from initial tests, which is good news. That said, it has a very long way to go. One thing a Stellartor has that a Tokamak lacks is that a stellarator can easily be made modular. A Tokamak does not easily lend itself to modular components. Another issue is that a Tokamak can loose a plasma in such a manner that the plasma will burn through the containment chamber resulting in an ugly and very expensive mess. Stellators cannot do this due to the nature of their field. These later features bode well for a possible stellarator proto-type plant.
Iter, not completely due to its design, is currently just a money hole that has far, far run over budget and STILL is a hole in the ground with little to show,
The W-7x is running now and was built within budget (the current machine; however, only after the complete failure of the original company that tried to build the complex magnets; creating those magnets created a 10 year delay!) Luckily, the technology they (W-7X and the new company) developed is rather mature now and these magnets can be built and the process of making these very complex magnets is well understood thanks to that investment. Recent tests using a plasma and at temperature (these are SC and cooled with liquid helium) has proven that the magnets are performing better then theory had predicted - a good sign.