China fires up ‘artificial sun’ fusion reactor with plan to hit 150 MILLION degrees some 10 times hotter than real sun

China fires up 'artificial sun' fusion reactor with plan to hit 150 MILLION degrees some 10 times hotter than real sun

CHINESE researchers say they have made a huge breakthrough in their extraordinary pursuit of creating an artificial sun.

Boffins said they have taken an “important step” towards producing self-sustaining nuclear fusion, which would create “unlimited clean energy”.

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China claim to have made an exciting breakthrough in the race to create an artificial sunCredit: Courtesy of the Southwestern Institute of Physics

They fired up their fusion reactor of the HL-2M Tokamak and now plan to crank the heat up to 150million degrees, some ten times hotter than the real sun.

According to state-run news outlet the Global Times, it will allow scientists to conduct further revolutionary research.

By mimicking reactions that naturally occur inside the sun, experts hope they can scale it up for commercial use.

The facility is called an “artificial sun” because it mimics the nuclear fusion reaction that powers the real sun – which uses hydrogen and deuterium gases as fuel.

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The man-made source of heat and light could potentially end the world’s reliance on fossil fuels and help to reverse global warming.

The China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) revealed they were able to generate a plasma current of over 1 million amperes.

It’s a current strong enough to provide some of the conditions needed to produce a working reactor.

The development also marked a new record for the operation of a controllable nuclear fusion device in China.

According to Zhong Wulyu, deputy director of the Center of Fusion Science, they have so far formed the largest scale and highest capability parameters of a magnetic confinement fusion experiment device in the country.

They used a pioneering structure and control mode that could increase the plasma current capacity to more than 2.5 million amperes.

This in turn increases the plasma ion temperature, which they hope will hit a whopping 150 million degrees.

The real sun hits temperatures of around 15million degrees at its core.

Wulyu told the Global Times: “The core components of the device are designed and manufactured in China.

“It is an important device to realize the leapfrog development of nuclear fusion energy development in China.

“It is also an indispensable platform for China to digest and absorb the international thermonuclear experimental reactor (ITER) technology, one of the largest international cooperation projects.”

The latest breakthrough means that the nuclear fusion reactor can routinely operate with a current of over 1 million amperes.

The groundbreaking research means mankind is one step closer to being sustained by an artificial sun in the future.

The HL-2M Tokamak, the country’s largest in scale and highest in parameters, bagged its first plasma discharge in December 2020.

Fusion reactors work by boiling the hydrogen into plasma, a state so hot even atoms can’t exist, and smashing protons together to form helium nuclei.

It is the same process that happens at the center of every star including our sun – and also in H-bombs.

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Fusion releases four times more energy by weight of fuel than nuclear fission – splitting heavy atoms like uranium – and four million times more energy than burning fossil fuels.

What’s more, the fuel is made from hydrogen, the most abundant substance in the universe, and theoretically there is no radioactive waste.

Experts will now be able to conduct groundbreaking research

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Experts will now be able to conduct groundbreaking researchCredit: Xinhua