The tokamak EAST nuclear fusion reactor known as the ‘Chinese artificial sun’ has achieved a new world record for pulse length for high temperature plasma in such a facility.
The experimental advanced superconducting tokamak (EAST), located at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP), set this milestone in one operation for 1,056 seconds (17 minutes and 36 seconds total).
“We achieved a plasma temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds in an experiment in the first half of 2021. This time, the stability of the plasma operation was maintained for 1,056 seconds at a temperature close to 70 million degrees Celsius. which leaves a solid scientific and experimental basis for the operation of a fusion reactor, “said Gong Xianzu, a scientist at ASIPP, as quoted by Xinhua.
The ultimate goal of EAST is to create a nuclear fusion like the Sun using the deuterium that is abundant in the sea to provide a constant flow of clean energy.
Unlike fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, which are in danger of running out and pose a threat to the environment, the raw materials needed for the ‘artificial sun’ are almost limitless on Earth. Therefore, fusion energy is considered the “ultimate energy” or unlimited, ideal for the future of humanity.
Over the past 15 years of operation, EAST has achieved plasma operation with 1 megapere, 160 million degrees, and 1,056 seconds apart. These milestones lay a solid scientific and experimental foundation toward the pursuit of fusion energy, according to scientists at the facility.
“ASIPP has a perfect team. We will face difficulties no matter how difficult! ”Professor Yuntao Song, ASIPP CEO, said in a statement.
Scientists seek to keep the plasma at extreme temperatures long enough for fusion to occur.
The full operation of a ‘artificial sun’ it won’t be possible for at least a few decades. First, it must be achieved that the fusion reactor can sustainably generate more energy than it consumes. In this way, all possible surpluses would be used.
Nuclear fusion should not be confused with nuclear fission, a process in which atoms divide and release energy. This reaction, used by current nuclear power plants, generates large amounts of radioactive waste and can put nearby populations at risk.
With information from Europa Press.