Scientists to inject fuel in experimental fusion device

GREIFSWALD, Germany (AP) — Scientists are poised to flip the switch on an experiment that could take them a step closer to the goal of generating clean and cheap nuclear power. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Greifswald, Germany, plan to inject hydrogen into a doughnut-shaped device to...

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              FILE - This Dec. 10, 2015 file photo shows the nuclear fusion research center at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics where the first plasma has been produced at the

GREIFSWALD, Germany (AP) — Scientists are poised to flip the switch on an experiment that could take them a step closer to the goal of generating clean and cheap nuclear power.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Greifswald, Germany, plan to inject hydrogen into a doughnut-shaped device to produce a super-hot gas known as plasma.

This is needed to achieve nuclear fusion, similar to how the sun's energy is produced.

Although harnessing fusion is likely still decades away, scientists hope it could someday replace the need for fossil fuels and conventional nuclear fission plants.

The Wendelstein 7-X stellarator was first fired up in December using helium, which is easier to heat.

Wednesday's test will show whether the 400-million-euro ($435-million) device can handle hydrogen, which would be the fuel in future fusion reactors.

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