China is again into the nuclear fusion experiment to create an ‘Artificial Sun.’ They designed an Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) fusion reactor to produce an artificial sun and it successfully achieved its goal as well. So, the reactor produced the Artificial Sun that ends with Plasma sustainability for 403 seconds. This record breaks the previous record of 101 seconds in 2017.
China’s Next Generation ‘Artificial Sun:’
Song Yuntao is the chief director of the Plasma Physics Institute which comes under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His team worked hard to achieve this result which will help to improve the technical problems of fusion reactors.
According to different estimates, the minimum time required to go for steady-state operations is around 300 seconds. But here it broke those requirements and come up with 403 seconds.
Here the crucial part of this record is the “high-confinement mode.” Under this mode, the density and temperature of the plasma will increase accordingly as per the director’s report.
“Artificial Sun” Development Since 2006:
The Artificial Sun of China is known as HL-2M. Since 2006, Chinese scientists have been working hard to create an ‘Artificial Sun’ using a nuclear fusion reactor. They are operating EAST since 16 years ago and even completed more than 120,000 experiments in it. In 2018, they came up with a new breaking record in which the reactor sustained plasma for almost 18 minutes. In such a record, the temperature was close to 70 million degrees Celsius.
However, the above record is different from the recent breakthrough test, as they used different operation modes in this recent test. Though they already achieved success, Beijing is taking another step to move forward in the field. After the successful completion of the next-gen artificial sun named Engineering Test Reactor (CFETR), one can expect its operations by 2035.
Nuclear Fission Vs. Nuclear Fusion:
When you consider the nuclear fusion process, is a nuclear reaction that ends with the generation of high levels of energy. However, there won’t be a generation of any large quantities of nuclear waste.
On the other hand, nuclear fission is much simple and the opposite of fusion. But the problem is that it will generate a lot of nuclear waste. Though fission is easy to achieve, scientists do not prefer such a reaction.
The same process of fusion takes place in the sun, as it generates heat and light. So, this is why China’s nuclear fusion reactor’s output is considered to be an “Artificial Sun.”
Unlike fission, fusion is safe, as it doesn’t emit any greenhouse gases and is risk-free. So, scientists have been trying this nuclear reaction for decades. Likewise, China also attempted to mimic the natural sun’s reaction to fight against the energy crisis. Finally, China achieved creating the artificial sun that ends with sustained plasma for 403 seconds.
In this record-breaking event, the breakthrough lies in the high confinement mode. Thus, this research may help future problems related to energy crises and even the battle against wasting energy.
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