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China's "Man-made Sun" Sees Groundbreaking Progress

Feb 05, 2016

A team of Chinese scientists in Hefei, capital city of east China’s Anhui Province, has made an unprecedented breakthrough on an energy generation device that will make it one step closer to transform energy into stable, sustainable and controllable resources.

The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) fusion device, nicknamed "artificial sun", made a 102-second long pulse plasma discharge at over the central electron temperature of 50 million degrees in Hefei at the end of January, 2016. This is the longest plasma discharge time recorded in all the Tokamak fusion devices in the world.

Led by the Chinese scientists at the Institute of Plasma Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Heifei, the EAST fusion device has made it one step closer to the goal of 1000-second long pulse plasma discharge at over the central electron temperature of 100 million degrees.

The name “artificial sun” was given because the aim of the device is to generate energy like the sun. Under high pressure and high temperature, fusion reactions will take place from inside to outside of the sun. Such fusion reactions will give rise to a great deal of energy to enable to sun to continuously emit light and heat. However, fusion reactions on the sun are uncontrollable and destructive, just like h-bomb explosion seen on the earth. EAST serves to transform such energy into a stable, sustainable and controllable resource. The hydrogen isotope extracted from one liter of seawater can produce energy equivalent to 300 liters of gasoline through complete fusion reactions. (People's Daily Online)

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