The Chinese nuclear fusion reactor EAST (Advanced Superconducting Experimental Tokamak), known as the “Artificial Sun”, reached a new temperature record last Friday (28): at 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds.
160 million °C was also recorded, but only for 20 seconds. However, this last mark is more than ten times (15 million °C) the temperature of the Sun. The first reactor’s record was 100 million °C for 100 seconds.
Scientists expect tokamak to become an important source of unlimited sustainable energy. It is located at the Hefei Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.
According to Li Miao, director of the Department of Physics at the South China University of Science and Technology, the next step is to stabilize the temperature for a week or more.
“The discovery is significant progress and should aim to keep temperatures at a stable level for a long period of time,” he told the Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper.
Implementation should take 30 years
Designed to reach high temperatures, EAST reproduces nuclear fusion occurring in the Sun and stars in a controlled manner as an alternative to sustainable energy production and is, therefore, known as an “artificial Sun”. is.
But despite the progress provided by recent records, implementation has a long way to go. Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Research in Energy Economics at Xiamen University, explained that commercial application should take 30 years and reiterated that the energy source is the cleanest and most reliable.
“It’s the kind of technology of the future that is key to advancing China’s green development,” Boqiang told the Global Times.
The reactor is part of the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), the world’s largest nuclear fusion research effort, second only to the ISS (International Space Station). The project, based in France, is jointly organized by China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States.