Korean ‘artificial sun’ produces record with 100 million degree plasma

Korean ‘artificial sun’ produces record with 100 million degree plasma
Korean ‘artificial sun’ produces record with 100 million degree plasma
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Recently, a team of scientists from South Korea managed to break the energy production record by producing a ball of plasma with 100 million degrees for approximately 50 seconds. The experiment is part of Korea’s Advanced Superconducting Tokamak Research (KSTAR) and used one of the most advanced fusion reactors on the planet. No wonder its nickname is Korean artificial sun.

Scientists explain that the new components inserted into the reactor allowed the temperature record; he managed to stay on for almost 20 seconds longer than the previous record. The reactor remained on for exactly 48 seconds.

Researchers believe that testing KSTAR’s new components will open doors for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) — it could become the largest fusion reactor of its kind in the world.

KSTAR’s record was revealed by the Korea Fusion Energy Institute (KFE), when the reactor managed to reach a temperature about seven times that of the Sun. The team is currently reviewing data from the latest experiments to understand all the variables and thus enable a study to present all the data that led to the recent results.

“Despite being the first experiment carried out in the environment of the new tungsten diverters, thorough hardware testing and campaign preparation allowed us to achieve results that surpass those of previous KSTAR records in a short period. 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,” said the director of the KSTAR research center , Si-Woo Yoon.

100 million degree nuclear and plasma reactor

As KFE High Performance Scenario Research Team plasma physicist Hyeon-seon Han said, The ultimate goal is to produce a plasma with a temperature of 100 million degrees that remains active for more than 300 seconds — they expect this to happen by mid-2026.

In other words, scientists plan for the KSTAR reactor to release impressive amounts of energy in a time about six times longer than the current record.

The image features the vacuum chamber of the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) reactor.Source: Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE)

KFE also revealed that KSTAR was able to achieve high confinement mode (H mode) for about 102 seconds. One of the reasons for this possibility was the upgrade of the reactor with tungsten diverters, a detail that provides significant advantages for operations involving high temperatures.

“KSTAR’s ultimate goal is to achieve 300 seconds of plasma operation with ion temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees. To achieve this goal, the KSTAR team has been focusing on key areas of research as well as improving device performance. This includes installing additional tungsten plasma components and ensuring real-time feedback control using artificial intelligence technology to improve device performance,” it is described in an official statement.

Did you like the content? Stay up to date with more studies on nuclear energy here at TecMundo. If you wish, take the opportunity to understand how Russia and China are planning to build a nuclear reactor on the Moon.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Korean artificial sun produces record million degree plasma

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