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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

China’s ‘artificial sun’ breaks its own record

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

A Chinese reactor known as an ‘artificial sun‘ broke its own temperature and time record. It is the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak also known as EAST, a tokamak reactor, which in the most recent experiment managed to reach a plasma temperature of 120 million Celsius for 101 seconds and 160 million Celsius for 20 seconds.

The achievement is “a major step toward the test run of the fusion reactor,” Global Times detailed.

The device, located at the Hefei Institute of Physical Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is designed to replicate the nuclear fusion process that occurs naturally in the Sun and other stars. 

Its aim is to provide “almost infinite clean energy” through controlled nuclear fusion, explained the Chinese media.

The latest achievement breaks a previous record when the plasma temperature was held at 100 million degrees Celsius for 100 seconds.

According to Li Miao, director of the physics department at South China University of Science and Technology, keeping the elevated temperature stable for an extended period of time is “a milestone.” 

Still, according to the scientist, the next milestone will be to maintain temperature stability for a week or more.

Scientists believe that the temperature at the core of the Sun is about 15 million degrees Celsius, meaning the plasma at the core of EAST will be about seven times hotter than our planet’s main star.

Achieving a plasma temperature above 100 million degrees Celsius is one of the main challenges in exploiting nuclear fusion, Global Times stressed.

Lin Boqiang, director of the China Energy Economics Research Center at Xiamen University, pointed out that the energy generated from nuclear fusion is the most reliable and cleanest. 

If the technology can be applied commercially to obtain it, China will have enormous economic benefits, the expert considered.

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