Korean nuclear fusion reactor becomes 7 times hotter than the Sun for 48 seconds

Korean nuclear fusion reactor becomes 7 times hotter than the Sun for 48 seconds
Korean nuclear fusion reactor becomes 7 times hotter than the Sun for 48 seconds
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Also known as the “artificial sun”, the KSTAR reactor surpassed its own record by maintaining a temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius for 48 seconds

Last Thursday, the 28th, the Korean Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE)from South Korea, announced that its famous KSTAR reactor (“Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research”, in its acronym in English), also known by the nickname “artificial sun“, surpassed an impressive record for science recently.

This is because, as published by Revista Galileu, it maintained an ionic temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius (which exceeds the temperature of our Sun by 7 times) for 48 seconds. The previous record was also held by KSTAR, and was recorded in 2020, when the reactor maintained the temperature for 20 seconds.

As this is one of the most important nuclear fusion reactors on the planet, the team involved in the project managed to surpass the mark after installing a new tungsten bypass — one of the most resistant metals in the world — in the reactor, which “made it possible to achieve results that surpass those of previous KSTAR records in a short period”, as reported Si-Woo Yoondirector of the KSTAR Research Center, in a statement.

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The researchers point out that these diverters are precisely responsible for withstanding the intensity of heat inside the reactor, and showed that tungsten is much more efficient in the task than carbon, previously used. Now, expected to withstand similar temperatures for up to 5 minutes until 2026.

To achieve the ultimate goal of the KSTAR operation, we plan to sequentially improve the performance of heating and current drive devices and also secure the basic technologies required for high-performance, long-pulse plasma operations.” Si-Woo Yoon.

How it works?

Nuclear fusion reactors They basically serve to induce in a controlled manner the plasma nuclear fusion process, when two atomic nuclei fuse to form an even heavier third, in a process that releases large amounts of energy. As an example, this is the same process that happens in the Sun, where hydrogen atoms fuse and create helium atoms.

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However, the biggest obstacle to the construction of nuclear fusion reactors around the world is that, in addition to being necessary to use extremely heat resistant materialsyou also need a large amount of energyin addition to the fact that Earth’s gravity is also not very conducive.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Korean nuclear fusion reactor times hotter Sun seconds

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