China fires up its ‘artificial sun’ for the first time: Experimental nuclear fusion reactor that burns TEN TIMES hotter than the sun offers the promise of ‘limitless clean power’
China has successfully fired up its ‘artificial sun’ nuclear fusion reactor for the first time in its quest to find ‘limitless clean power’, according to state media.
The HL-2M Tokamak reactor is China’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device, and scientists hope that the device can potentially unlock a powerful green energy source.
The cutting-edge device uses a powerful magnetic field to fuse hot plasma and can reach temperatures of over 150million degrees Celsius (302million degrees Fahrenheit), according to the People’s Daily — approximately 10 times hotter than the core of the sun.
Located in south-western Sichuan province and completed late last year, the reactor is often called an ‘artificial sun’ on account of the enormous heat and power it produces.
‘The development of nuclear fusion energy is not only a way to solve China’s strategic energy needs, but also has great significance for the future sustainable development of China’s energy and national economy,’ said the People’s Daily, a mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party.
The new equipment is now ready to be put into use officially after being powered up during an experiment at around 2 pm in a research laboratory in Chengdu.
Yu Jianfeng, chairman of China National Nuclear Corporation which is in charge of the development of the reactor, said the success could improve scientists’ understanding of fusion power.