Korea’s Fusion reactor was 7 times hotter than the sun for nearly 30 seconds: ScienceAlert

Korea’s “artificial sun” reactor has Newspaper headlines This week by officially keeping the plasma at a temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius for more than 20 seconds.

team in Korea’s superconducting research developed Tokamak The KSTAR instrument has reached a temperature of more than 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million degrees Fahrenheit).

according to new world The interaction was only stopped after 30 seconds due to hardware limitations.

KSTAR uses magnetic fields to generate and stabilize ultra-heated plasma, with the goal of making it finally The power of nuclear fusion Reality.

You can watch the footage below which shows the reactor running for more than 24 seconds, achieving a temperature of over 10^8 Kelvin – which is equivalent to more or less 100 million degrees Celsius.

boundary frame = “0″ allow=” accelerometer; auto start; clipboard writing. gyroscope encoded media; Picture-in-Picture “allowfullscreen>

A KSTAR researchrs, Young Soo Na, Matthew Sparks said from new world Longer periods should be possible in the future after hardware upgrades.

This is an exciting achievement for good reason – a potentially limitless source of clean energy that could change the way we run our lives, if we can make it work as intended.

But it’s also worth noting that this KSTAR advance isn’t necessarily a completely new record, as some media outlets are touting.

In fact, KSTAR announced this hack in 2020, and We reported it at that time. What has changed now is that their paper on the research has been peer-reviewed and has just been done Posted in temper nature.

However, in the years that followed, KSTAR Have broken their own recordthe “artificial sun” in China known as the East (Tokamak or HT-7U Experimental Advanced Superconducting) has moved to crush both of those.

In 2021, the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ fusion machine reached 120 million degrees Celsius (216 million degrees Fahrenheit) and stuck out for a while. 101 sec.

This is not to say that KSTAR’s achievement is still not huge and deserves to be shared and celebrated.

Prior to this breakthrough, the 100 million degree threshold had not been breached for more than 10 seconds.

kstar 2KSTAR. (Korean Institute of Fusion Energy)

“Technologies required for long processes of 100 million degrees of plasma are key to achieving fusion energy,” Nuclear physicist Se-Woo Yun said:director of the KSTAR Research Center at the Korea Institute for Fusion Energy (KFE) in 2020.

“KSTAR’s success in maintaining high-temperature plasmas for 20 seconds will be an important turning point in the race to secure technologies for the long-running high-performance plasmas, a critical component of commercials. nuclear fusion reactor in the future.

The key to the jump to 20 seconds was to upgrade to the Internal Transfer Barrier (ITB) modes within KSTAR. These modes Not fully understood by scientists, but at the simplest level they help control confinement and stability of nuclear fusion reactions.

KSTAR is Tokamak-style reactorsimilar to the one recently launched online in China, fuses atomic nuclei to create these massive amounts of energy (as opposed to nuclear fission used in power plants, which splits atomic nuclei apart).

Fusion devices like KSTAR use isotopes of hydrogen to create a plasma state in which ions and electrons are separated, ready to be heated – the same fusion reactions that occur on the Sun, hence the nickname these reactors are given.

So far, maintaining high enough temperatures for a long enough period of time for the technology to be viable has proven to be a challenge. Scientists will need to break more records like this for nuclear fusion to work as an energy source – it runs out a bit more seawater (source of hydrogen isotopes) and produce the least amount of waste.

Despite all the work that lies ahead in getting these reactors to produce more energy than they consume, progress has been encouraging. By 2025, the engineers at KSTAR want to cross the 100 million-degree mark for 300 seconds.

“The ion temperature of 100 million degrees achieved by enabling efficient long-duration core plasma heating demonstrated the unique capability of the superconducting KSTAR device, and will be recognized as a compelling basis for high performance, stable fusion plasmas,” Nuclear physicist Yong Suk Park saidfrom Columbia University, in 2020.

The search was published in temper nature.

Portions of this article were first published in December 2020.

Leave a Comment