fusion reactor is 7x hotter than the Sun’s core

fusion reactor is 7x hotter than the Sun’s core
fusion reactor is 7x hotter than the Sun’s core
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Popularly called the “Korean artificial sun”, the KSTAR fusion reactor (acronym in English for Korean Advanced Superconducting Tokamak Research) has just achieved a historic feat, reaching a temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius for 48 seconds. That’s seven times hotter than the Sun’s core! The information comes from the Korean Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE), which highlighted significant advances in the search for controlled nuclear fusion in a statement.

About nuclear fusion as an energy source

Nuclear fusion is the process that powers stars, and achieving it on Earth requires extremely high temperatures. KSTAR, a donut-shaped tokamak reactor, has been the site of impressive experiments in this regard. Since 2018, when it managed to maintain the required temperature for just 1.5 seconds, it has been constantly improving.

Thanks to technical advances such as the introduction of a new tungsten bypass environment, KSTAR was able to prolong the hot plasma’s sustainment. Now it can hold it for 48 seconds at 100 million degrees Celsius, and in a high confinement mode for 102 seconds. The goal is to achieve 300 seconds of fusion by 2026.

“Korean artificial sun”: the KSTAR fusion reactor (acronym in English for Korean Advanced Superconducting Tokamak Research). Credit: Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE)

Si-Woo Yoon, director of the KSTAR Research Center, expressed optimism about the progress. He highlighted that, despite being the first execution in the new diversion environment, the results surpassed previous records in a short space of time.

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Path open for new fusion reactors

These advances not only drive scientific progress, but also pave the way for future fusion reactors. KSTAR and other pioneering projects such as the Joint European Torus (JET) provide crucial insights into the development of technologies needed to make fusion a viable and sustainable energy source.

KFE President Suk Jae Yoo emphasized the importance of these achievements for future fusion reactors such as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) and Demonstration Power Plant (DEMO). ITER, a gigantic nuclear fusion reactor built in France that is scheduled to be launched soon, promises to generate ten times more energy than expected. DEMO, the next step, aims to produce electricity and twenty-five times the energy invested.

With plans to build DEMO underway, research and development in this field promises to revolutionize the global energy landscape. KSTAR’s success is a significant step in this journey towards a cleaner, more sustainable energy source.

These scientific advances not only have the potential to transform the way we generate energy, but also our perspectives on the environment and energy sustainability.


The article is in Portuguese

Tags: fusion reactor hotter Suns core

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