The Chinese artificial sun was launched and emulates the power generation process of the solar star and throughout its 15 years of operation, it has never managed to maintain so many degrees Celsius for so long.
Researchers working at China’s “artificial sun” fusion facility – the Advanced Experimental Superconductor Tokamak, or HT-7U, (EAST) – announced that on December 30, 2021, it broke a record by being able to maintain a plasma of 120 million degrees Celsius for 1,056 seconds.
This surpasses the previous plasma confinement record of 390 seconds, set by the Tore Supra tokamak in France in 2003.
However, never at the same time, which makes this an important advance for fusion experimentation in the search for fusion energy.
In their announcement, the team noted that their results show that they are making steady progress toward their goals.
The race for nuclear fusion
The record comes amid the growing race for nuclear fusion and its development as a power source.
The merger could replace coal-fired power plants and probably other renewable resource plants as well. The basic idea is to imitate the Sun, which produces light and heat through fusion.
If scientists succeed in bringing this process to Earth, fusion energy could provide the world with a safe, sustainable, environmentally responsible and abundant source of energy, alternative to nuclear fission energy, which is used today in power plants. nuclear.
Fusion vs. fission
The fusion process is almost the opposite of the fission process, as instead of separating the atoms of the heavy elements, it joins the atoms of the light elements together to create heavier atoms.
Also, unlike fission, fusion would not produce direct radioactive waste, since the end product of the fusion process is helium.
In the same way, it would not need a non-renewable and as scarce fuel as uranium or plutonium, but light and abundant materials such as deuterium.
In theory, these fuels can be obtained in large volumes from seawater, Newsweek reported.
There are experts who calculate that one liter of water would be enough to provide raw material for fusion to produce the energy equivalent to the combustion of 300 liters of oil.