There is a separate lab to test how materials will stand up to the high energy from nuclear fusion. Plasma is created by heating up hydrogen gas with radio waves to about 50,000 degrees Celsius. That plasma in then put into a vacuum, as it would be in a reactor to perform tests. A machine attached to this shoots high-energy ion beams onto the surface of a material, such as tungsten, to see with great definition the effect of plasma on the surface. The goal is design a system where the material does not degrade and cause problems.
June 29, 2011 8:42 AM PDT
Photo by: Martin LaMonica/CNET
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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