Science

Chinese fusion reactor reaches the correct temperature

Chinese fusion reactor reaches the correct temperature

Interestingly, an artificial Sun is the name given to nuclear fusion experiments, and it is not similar to the artificial moon that China is planning to send up to space soon.

The four-month experiment shows that China is making significant progress towards tokamak-based fusion energy production, the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said.

Chinese researchers pushing to find a major clean energy source have created an incredible artificial sun that can reach temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius - a heat so intense it makes the real sun seem merely lukewarm.

That is about six times as hot as our actual sun, which burns at a mere 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.

Every nuclear reactor now operating on Earth is a fission reactor - using energy released when heavy atoms such as uranium decay into smaller atoms, a process similar to the one used in the first nuclear weapons. Created to replicate the process our Sun uses to generate energy, researchers set up the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) fusion reactor in 2006.




The EAST reactor's achievement in heating charged particles up to 100 million degrees could be a milestone on the way to developing fusion power plants.

Nuclear fusion is the process which powers the sun.

Currently, nuclear energy created through fusion leaves a long-lasting toxic waste. With the help of Tokamak devices like EAST, this might be possible. "The electron temperature of the core plasma increased beyond 100 million degrees". EAST is 11 meters tall, have an 8 meters diameter and weighs 400 tons.

In theory, fusion reactors would produce energy by fusing hydrogen atoms into helium.

The experiment team said EAST achieved a fully non-inductive steady-state scenario with the extension of fusion performance at high density, high temperature and high confinement, which has provided important experimental evidence and scientific support to the ongoing Chinese Fusion Engineering Test Reactor.


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