Watch this video to learn more about the recent claims that China has launched an artificial sun! Do these claims hold water? Does China really have an artificial sun? How, if at all, might the story change the future of mankind?
A nuclear fusion reactor in China set a new record for sustained high temperatures last week. It operated for more than 17 minutes at a temperature five times hotter than the sun, state media reported.
The EAST (Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak), known as the “artificial sun,” reached temperatures of 150 million degrees Fahrenheit (70 million degrees Celsius) during the experiments, Xinhua news agency reported.
The main goal of developing the artificial solar device is to provide nearly unlimited clean energy by mimicking the natural reactions inside stars.
“The recent operation lays a solid scientific and experimental foundation for the operation of a fusion reactor,” Gong Xianzu, a researcher at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences who led the recent experiment, told Xinhua.
The EAST project, which has already cost China more than $941.5 billion (700 billion pounds), will run until June.
China’s Artificial Sun
Nuclear fusion is touted as the holy grail of clean energy generation. Outside the laboratory, however, the technology still has a long way to go, despite decades of research.
By replicating the physics of the real sun, nuclear fusion reactors fuse atomic nuclei to produce massive amounts of energy that can be converted into electricity.
The process requires no fossil fuels and leaves no hazardous waste, unlike nuclear fission, which is used for commercial nuclear power generation. Physicists also claim that the risk of an environmental disaster is much lower.
The Chinese reactor team will also provide technical support to another nuclear fusion reactor megaproject in Marseille, France.
When completed, ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) will be the world’s largest reactor.