In news- China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), an advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device, set a new record after it ran at 216 million degrees Fahrenheit (120 million degrees Celsius) for 101 seconds.
About China’s ‘artificial sun’ EAST-
- For another 20 seconds, the “artificial sun” also achieved a peak temperature of 288 million degrees Fahrenheit (160 million degrees Celsius) for another 20 seconds.
- The sun’s core only reaches about 15 million degrees Celsius, which means the reactor was able to touch temperatures that are 10 times hotter than that.
- The reactor is located at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) in Hefei, China.
- Its purpose is to replicate the process of nuclear fusion, which is the same reaction that powers the sun.
- It is one of three major domestic tokamaks that are presently being operated across the country, the other two China is currently operating are the HL-2A reactor as well as J-TEXT.
- EAST first became operational in 2006.
- It is part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) facility, which will become the world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor when it becomes operational in 2035.
- The project includes the contributions of several countries, including India, South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United States.
- The next goal for the scientists behind the experimental reactor is to maintain the high temperature for a long period of time.
China is not the only country that has achieved high plasma temperatures as, in 2020, South Korea’s KSTAR reactor set a new record by maintaining a plasma temperature of over 100 million degrees Celsius for 20 seconds.
- The KSTAR (or Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research) is a magnetic fusion device at the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy in Daejeon, South Korea.
- It is intended to study aspects of magnetic fusion energy which will be pertinent to the ITER fusion project.
- The project was approved in 1995 but construction was delayed by the East Asian financial crisis.
- The construction phase of the project was completed on September 14, 2007.
The first plasma was achieved in June 2008.