The Wendelstein 7-X stellarator in Germany has achieved a record plasma density and time mark for stellarators. Of note, this is a new machine and is just starting to test semi-real plasma's using active plasma divertor technology. It was built on budget; unlike ITER (Which is still just a concrete hole and a money pit.) The W-7X is achieving results that demonstrate its design can reach milestone goals and even exceed predicted values for those milestones. Certainly, W-7X is performing better than expected. While its ultimate goals are modest, this stellarator design can certainly be used to test ideas/plasma densities that will pave the way for proving whether a real fusion prototype machine based on this design could be started in ten years.
Reflections on fusion history, current events, and predictions for the 'fusion powered future.
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