Nuclear fusion is one of the most promising sources of green unlimited energy. It is using the same reaction as that which exists in the Sun. Nuclear fission principle is used in today’s nuclear power plants and it is based on breaking down the nucleus of an atom to smaller parts. Unlike it, nuclear fusion is the process in which more atoms are fused to a very high temperature, thus generating energy.
Researchers were able to retain a helium plasma incandescent bulb in a three-dimensional magnetic field. This is a new approach, as models that were build until now produced a two-dimensional magnetic field. A major disadvantage of 2D patterns is that they need electrical power to operate.
The team consists of German and American scientists designed Wendelstein 7-X (W 7-X), a stellerator within which the fusion occurred. The results of this stellerator were better than expected, scientists claiming that it has “unprecedented accuracy”. However, this is only an experimental reactor. There is a long way to go until building a plant to produce this type of energy. The biggest problem is the difficulty of designing and constructing a reactor that will withstand the conditions inside the Sun, with temperatures reaching up to 100 million degrees Celsius.
The good news is that this is not the only project of this kind, the French initiated their own study with ITER reactor which is based on the same principle. We can conclude that there is a real possibility of being able to use unlimited green energy created by nuclear fusion in the near future!