The Chinese nuclear fusion reactor EAST (Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak) reached a temperature high of 158 million °F (70 million degrees Celsius) as stated by China’s Xinhua News Agency.
Scientist have taken a significant step towards the creation of limitless supply of clean energy.
In 2003, The Tore Supra tokamak in France set the previous record with a similar temperature that lasted 390 seconds. This was surpassed By the Chinese Reactor, which in may 2021 ran for 101 seconds at 216 million °F, setting a new record. To put this in perspective, the actual sun reaches temperatures of about 27 million °F.
Experiment leader and researcher at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Gong Xianzu said in a statement “The recent operation lays a solid scientific and experimental foundation towards the running of a fusion reactor.”
Nuclear fusion has been a goal of scientists for more than 70 years. So-called main-sequence stars can generate vast amounts of energy without releasing greenhouse gases or long-lasting radioactive waste by fusing hydrogen atoms to form helium at extremely high pressures and temperatures.
However, recreating the conditions found deep into stars’ cores is no an easy task. On this process, the plasma is superheated before being trapped in a donut-shaped reactor chamber by intense magnetic fields in the tokamak, the most common fusion reactor design.
The first tokamak was built by Soviet scientist Natan Yavlinsky in 1958, but no experimental reactor has ever been able to produce more energy than it consumes.
Upon its completion in June, China’s EAST experiment is expected to have cost more than $1 trillion. It is being used to try out new fusion technologies in preparation for the far larger International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project currently under construction in Marseille, France.
ITER, the world’s largest nuclear reactor, is a joint effort of 35 countries, including every EU member state, the UK, China, India, and the US. The fusion reactor is planned to be operational in 2025, giving scientists new insights into harnessing stellar power on Earth.
Original source material for this article taken from here