Tokamaks are by far the most-studied type of fusion reactor in the world. The European Union is putting billions of euros in probably the biggest machine at any point worked by men either venture. Numerous different thoughts are being investigated as far as attractive and inertial imprisonment, while a great deal of them are promising ideas vitality creation is as yet an unavoidable issue. Mark Stellar Raiders, on the other hand, offers a smart way to deal with combination anyway because of the multifaceted nature of these machines, for the most part, they get more consideration for its looks than its real ingenuity.
Before we dive into today’s topic a quick word from me, the most significant challenges I face when crafting my channel’s content is the lack of reputable, reliable, and up-to-date sources finding reliable information through the interwebs. While using a magnifying glass it’s doable but not the most efficient way at least 40% of my time is spent on research alone it’s not just googling and clicking on the first available link it’s about making sure that the content I deliver is as accurate as possible while using what little time is left in the day after my desk job ends. I took a crash course called nuclear physics to explain thought by Ph.D. professor Lawrence Weinstein available through the great courses plus funny enough. The course i took was very detailed and came highly recommended.
The Wildenstein 7x Project
The Wildenstein7x project has been in development for decades more precisely since the 1980s when the planning of the project started it was only submitted to the European Union in August 1990 followed up by a long bureaucratic period of application assessments concluded March 11, 1996, it would take 19 more years for its first helium plasma test or the machines first test run on December 10, 2015.
On the other hand, still has a long road ahead with its first test run set for 2025 with a current estimated cost of 22 billion euros but the expected final value by 2040 is more than 80 billion the cost of the seven acts is currently 1.1 billion dollars, or at least that was the best estimate that I could find online. I have to tell you though how difficult it was to find information about the seven acts so many days researching this topic and boy oh boy how difficult it was to find anything. But anyway if we go by costs alone even if the seven acts real value were ten times of that it would still be a better investment not only because it’s cheaper, but as we will see next it solves one of the most fundamental problems of magnetic confinement.
There are mainly two problems when it comes to fusion.
- The heat transfer
- The magnetic confinement
In a nutshell, fusion reactors are nothing more than glorified pressure pots using high-tech stuff. The concept of energy production is very similar to fission, like water reactors. The main difference is that fusion releases more energy, and we have complete control over the reaction, meaning if we stop feeding the machinery with fuel, the result stops immediately.
And lastly, it’s not nearly as radioactive as fission.
How Fusion Achieved?
In essence, fusion can be achieved by heating atoms with 20-kilo electron volts. When they fuse, they release more or less 20 million electron volts from that you get a neutron with 14 million electron volts that leave the plasma. It’s caught by the sweeping, which moves the warmth a coolant, which can either be fluid like water or gas like helium. This is the reason the warmth move is an issue on account of the 7x.
It’s one of the things that they are working on methodically to get it right in the next few years the blankets job is to make sure that the heat transfer happens precisely while protecting the outer parts of the machine. Remember, we are talking about extreme temperatures separated only by a few centimeters graphite is the right candidate for the blanket.
With it is that if it decays due to the high temperatures, it will contaminate the plasma hindering the fusion process the alpha particle that is emitted with 3.5 million electron volts remain in confinement to continue heating the plasma. Now you are probably asking so if you need only 40-kilo electron volts and you get 3.5 million electron volts that is more than enough to get fusion going
Why don’t we have fusion energy yet?
Well, the answer is quite simple not all atoms fuse, which is a problem with the confinement, then we must also understand they’re more than 80% of the heat generated is used to make electricity while 20% keeps the plasma hot. Although you don’t need much energy to initiate fusion, you do need the atoms to collide, and for that, you need to increase the likelihood of collisions to happen. That is when the magnetic confinement comes into play.
How does a tokamak work?
It is straight for you to have a steroidal chamber, which is a giant circular tube or torus with coils all around it like a solenoid. This enables the plasma to be confined in the steroidal magnetic field, so the plasma moves in a circular pattern.
The issue with this methodology is that, the imprisonment killed towards the focal point of the torus because the idea of the framework and for tokamak to be fruitful we have to try out the separation to do that,t we present a second electromagnetic field using a transformer this generates a current inside the confinement chamber making the plasma twist which evens out the distribution and also heats it.
The system has several problems one of them being:
- The length of the wires for the coils
They used 100,000 kilometers of niobium-tin and niobium-titanium for that if you want more information about this.
- Drifting of atoms
Another disadvantage is the drifting of grains due to the magnetic confinement.
What this means is that the charged particles eventually are trapped by orbits that throw them out of the desired fusion orbit, or they drift away from the magnetic lines to which it was supposed to follow in the first place. Basically, the thorium and tritium are lost because of this significant decrease in the chances of fusion to overcome this problem. They have to make the magnetic confinement stronger, which means bigger machine now you understand why the error is so massive.
The vendor stein 7 acts
It offers a more elegant but sophisticated solution to these problems.
How do we all think that Stellarators are something new they are as oldest tokamaks.
Lyman Spitzer Jr. was the man behind the idea what he tried to do was to find a way to eliminate the drifting of atoms in tokamaks like I explained earlier his crucial insight was to understand that by twisting the shape of the plasma it would somewhat remove drifting so he devised an experiment by turning the torus into an eight shaped tube in his first try he managed to heat the plasma to 500,000 Kelvin.
But not much more was concluded keep in mind that this was during the 1950’s so achieving 500,000 Kelvin was quite a feat.
His second significant insight was to realize that the H shape was not necessary. What he needed was to introduce helical field coils with currents at alternating directions throughout the length of the Taurus this alone would create the desired twisted magnetic field giving birth to the classical stellarator. Although this was a smart insight, the problem of drifting atoms is still there; it was only with the advancement of computers that stellarators regain credibility.
Supercomputers gave scientists the ability to understand how plasmas behave in extreme electromagnetic fields and by that they were able to design what is now the 7x shape in the magnetic field is crucial to any reactor and the 7x shines because of that it is comprised of a fivefold symmetry torus that helps shape the plasma field lines this is important because it enables the machine to handle longer plasma times without the need of extra power this approach is more elegant in tokamaks for a few reasons it eliminates the necessity of a transformer to twist a magnetic field which dramatically decreases the amount of energy required by the machine while either we’ll have a total magnetic field of 13 Tesla the 7x can work with only three to achieve the break-even State.
so the hope wiring for coils is only a few hundreds of kilometers when compared to eaters on 100,000 kilometers. This also has an impact on time to build a machine since getting this much wiring took almost eight years for it.
Advantages of Stellarators
Stellarators can achieve more energetic magnetic fields that do not require more essential tools. To be obtained because of that confinement is many times better than tokamaks stellarators can operate as steady states much better because it has less magneto hydrodynamic activities at nearly disruption-free states.
Another advantage is the steady-state magnetic fields and the absence of current-driven instabilities and disruptions, something that is a fundamental problem with tokamaks. Another reason why they have to go with bigger machines lastly is the cost if it all goes well with the 7x which is only a proof of concept building a stellarator that can produce energy won’t cost nearly as much as a project like either further optimizations such as going from a five-fold symmetry to a:
Quasi symmetric four-fold symmetry, which helps eliminate harmonics and produce a field line with a single harmonic balance, may help achieve that because it effectively reduces toroidal curvature and dramatically improves particle confinement.
So far, the seminars have been successful in every test, and the last upgrade for its final phase is the installment of the actively cooled diverter using CFC. This will enable the machine to handle plasmas for up to 30 minutes. And it must be ready by 2020 the future of Stellarators depends on this final test and if all goes well either will look bad alright folks that’s it we’re done here.