The Chinese nuclear fusion reactor reached 100 million degrees

The Chinese nuclear fusion reactor reached 100 million degrees

An experimental nuclear reactor, located in the Chinese city of Hefei, managed to reach a plasma temperature of more than 100 million degrees Celsius, a level necessary for stable conditions to get the fusion of the nucleus of the atoms.

This is the first time that this thermonuclear fusion reactor EAST (Tokamak Superconductor Experimental Advanced), known as “artificial sun”, reaches this temperature.

 

According to the Institute of Physical Science of Hefei, dependent of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CASHIPS) and in charge of the project, this fact “lays the foundations for the development of clean nuclear energy”, due to the use of deuterium and tritium, two radioactive isotopes found in large quantities in the oceans.

These innovations will contribute to the construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER,), a project developed in the south of France and where 35 countries, including China, the United States and Russia, as well as the European Union collaborate.

Fusion is a chemical reaction that consists in the union of two atoms to form a larger one releasing an enormous amount of energy in the process, more even than in the fission that takes place in nuclear power plants, where large atoms are broken into particles smaller.

The objective of both the institute and the scientific community as a whole is to imitate the process that occurs in the stars in a natural way, in order to achieve a source of clean and inexhaustible energy.

Two years ago, CASHIPS scientists managed to keep the core fusion stable for 102 seconds, a record to date, after raising the temperature of hydrogen to 50 million degrees Celsius.

After this thermal increase, hydrogen passed from gas to plasma, the fourth state of matter (next to the solid, liquid and gas), in which the particles move at such speed and collide with such virulence that the electrons separate from each other. the nuclei of the atoms forming an ionized set.

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Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.