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South Korea’s artificial sun broke the world record of 20 seconds



Last month, South Korea’s superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) device (a type of nuclear fusion reactor known as the “artificial sun”) maintained an incredible plasma at an ion temperature exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius In 20 seconds, it broke the world record (180 million degrees Fahrenheit), which is one of the core conditions for nuclear fusion from this device.

The progress of KSTAR is amazing. It reached 100 million degrees Celsius for the first time in 2018, but it lasted only 1.5 seconds. In 2019, this was extended to 8 seconds. Now, this number has more than doubled. No other device that can generate this high temperature (or higher temperature) plasma can sustain it for more than 1

0 seconds.

With the help of the newly developed internal transport barrier model, it is possible to break records. Researchers believe that in the next five years, the ion temperature will be 300 seconds higher than the ion temperature reached here. A key goal for the future development of commercial nuclear fusion reactors.

Si-Woo Yoon, director of the KSTAR Research Center of the Korea Fusion Energy Research Institute, said: “The technology required to achieve long-term operation of 100 million degrees plasma is the key to achieving fusion energy.”[T]KSTAR’s success in maintaining high-temperature plasma for 20 seconds will be an important turning point in ensuring the safety of long-term high-efficiency plasma operation technology, and long-term high-performance plasma operation is a key component of future commercial nuclear fusion reactors. “

The KSTAR operation started in August and lasted until December 10. The team conducted a total of 110 plasma experiments to test the function of the device and the methods and techniques for injecting and stabilizing plasma. The experiment was carried out in cooperation with domestic and foreign partners.

South Korea is a member of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (formerly known as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), which is a large-scale project that will become the largest nuclear fusion reactor in history. The purpose is to prove that it is possible to create a device that can release more energy through nuclear fusion (in a controlled manner), rather than creating the conditions to fuse light atoms in the first place.

The experiment with KSTAR is crucial to inform the development of ITER, and the research should start running in 2025. The results of KSTAR operations in 2020 are expected to be published at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Fusion Energy Conference in May 2021.

To be a joke, nuclear fusion is always 20 years away, but the development of the past ten years does show the development of the field of nuclear fusion.




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