June 24, 2021

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China’s ‘Artificial Sun’ Fusion Reactor Just Set a New World Record

China’s ‘Artificial Sun’ Fusion Reactor Just Set a New World Record

The South China Morning Post reports that China “has reached another milestone in its quest for a fusion reactor, with one of its ‘artificial suns’ sustaining extreme temperatures for several times longer that its previous benchmark, according to state media.”

State news agency Xinhua reported that the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak in a facility in the eastern city of Hefei registered a plasma temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds on Friday. It also maintained a temperature of 160 million degrees Celsius for 20 seconds, the report said…

The facilities are part of China’s quest for fusion reactors, which hold out hope of unlimited clean energy. But there are many challenges to overcome in what has already been a decades-long quest for the world’s scientists. Similar endeavours are under way in the United States, Europe, Russia, South Korea. China is also among 35 countries involved in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) megaproject in France…

Despite the progress made, fusion reactors are still a long way from reality. Song Yuntao, director of the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the latest results were a major achievement for physics and engineering in China. “The experiment’s success lays the foundation for China to build its own nuclear fusion energy station,” Song was quoted as saying.

NASA notes that the core of the Sun is only about 15 million degrees Celsius.

So for many seconds China’s fusion reactor was more than 10 times hotter than the sun.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.