TECH
26/10/2015 11:49 GMT | Updated 26/10/2015 11:59 GMT

This Bizarrely Designed Fusion Reactor Could Hold The Key To Safe Unlimited Electricity

The Wendelstein 7-X might look like the creation of a mad scientist but this mess of pipes and valves has been painstakingly created by a supercomputer to become what could be the world's safest fusion reactor.

Fusion reactors give us the promise of a way out of the energy crisis. Capable of producing huge amounts of energy with few downsides it has become the holy grail of energy production.

wendelstein 7x

It is extremely difficult to do however, and expensive. So far no fusion reactor has been able to produce more energy than is required to create it at any meaningful level.

On top of this, designs have varied greatly with safety becoming a major concern due in part to the huge burning ring of plasma that would be suspended in the middle of it.

Containing plasma in this state isn't just dangerous it's hideously difficult to do, however one group of scientists from the Max Planck Institute believe they may have the answer.

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Rather than using electric currents to twist the plasma inside into a safer shape, this reactor physically twists it, creating a far more stable environment within which to operate.

While fusion reactors are considered safer, there are still risks, and in light of recent disasters with fission rectors, the hope is that this new design will pave the way for the first generation of working fusion reactors.