China Artificial Sun

‘Unlimited fusion energy’: China fires up ‘artificial Sun’ 10 times hotter than the real Sun

Researchers in China claim to have achieved a significant advancement in their unprecedented quest to build an artificial sun.

By constructing an “artificial sun” at the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) reactor, researchers from Seoul National University and the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy have achieved great progress in their pursuit of clean nuclear energy.

According to sources, temperatures as high as 100 million degrees Celsius were present in the reactor for 30 seconds. The center of the sun, on the other hand, reaches temperatures of roughly 15 million degrees.

It is crucial to keep in mind that nuclear fusion, the source of energy for our sun, is regarded as the best possible energy source.

China Artificial Sun
China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), also known as the Chinese Artifical Sun, has operated since 2006. MU CHEN/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

In contrast, the fission process used in nuclear power plants and atomic weapons splits atomic nuclei into fragments and generates negligible amounts of energy.

By mimicking the sun’s natural reaction, scientists hope to help humanity capture tremendous amounts of energy and solve the world’s energy crisis.

‘We generally say that fusion energy is a fantasy energy source – it is essentially unlimited, with minimal greenhouse gas emissions and no high-level radioactive waste,’ says Yoo Suk-Jae, head of the Korea Institute of Fusion.

In comparison to fission, fusion has lower chances of accidents and theft of nuclear material. It also emits no greenhouse gases. In order to operate the reactor for five minutes or 300 seconds, the KSTAR scientists have set a target.

They are not happy to sit back and enjoy their success. This is not the end of the story; we must continue for another 300 seconds, which is needed to develop steady-state processes before this plasma can continue to operate forever.

China Artificial Sun
Chinese scientists hail ‘important step’ towards nuclear fusion from ‘artificial sun’ – SCMP

However, this is not the first time that scientists have created fake suns. The development of scaled-down nuclear fusion reactors has reportedly been a focus of Chinese experts since 2006, according to WION.

In December of last year, the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) fusion energy reactor purportedly created a false sun by reaching temperatures of 70 million degrees Celsius for 1,056 seconds, which is five times hotter than the sun.

In May, when operating at a temperature of 20,000,000 degrees Celsius, the reactor ran for 101 seconds.

With inputs from WION & East Coast Daily

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Written by Alex Bruno

Freelance space writer Alex Bruno specializes in covering China's quickly expanding space industry. In 2021, he started writing for SpaceXMania. He also contributes to publications including SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist. When Alex was a small child, he first experienced the space bug after seeing Voyager photographs of alien planets in our solar system. When not in space, Alex likes to go trail jogging in the Finnish countryside.

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