While the former, in a Korean record attempt It managed to store 100 million degrees Celsius plasma for 20 seconds, EAST now stored 120 million degrees plasma for 101 seconds, and also reached 160 million degrees, which it managed to hold for 20 seconds.
In previous EAST experiments, plasma at 100 million degrees Celsius was also held for only 10 seconds, so the new results are encouraging – by comparison, fusion takes place in the core of the Sun at 15 million degrees Celsius.
“These breakthroughs are a significant development, our ultimate goal is to keep this temperature stable for a long time.”
– He told Chinese Global Times physicist Li Miao of the Southern University of Shenzhen (SUSTech).
What is this plasma and what is fusion?
There are two types of nuclear reactors, fusion reactors currently in use and fusion reactors considered to be the technology of the future. Fission reactors use nuclear fission as a source of energy (most commonly using uranium or plutonium), while fusion reactors use the opposite, nuclear fusion, or nuclear fusion. This also happens in the Sun, where the helium is formed from the fusion of hydrogen atoms, which produces heat and releases energy.
Fusion reactors produce cheaper energy due to the abundance of raw materials and cleaner energy due to the minimization of radioactive waste, in addition to “Danger of running” it also excludes the possibility of a nuclear explosion and its by-products cannot be used in arms production.
To reproduce the workings of the Sun, a device called tokamak helps store high-temperature plasma in a donut-shaped magnetic field — using EAST deuterium, one of the isotopes of hydrogen, to fuse and produce plasma. Researchers claim that using one liter of deuterium in seawater can produce up to 300 liters of gasoline-equivalent energy through nuclear fusion.
In theory, only deuterium and tritium and their fusion to helium are needed to start energy production, but the situation is not so simple because although deuterium is very common, tritium must be produced by the reactor itself from lithium.
In addition, the reactor must reach the temperature required for the fusion of nuclei, which must be ten times that measured in the Earth’s core in the Earth’s reaction, 100 million degrees Celsius, and storing this is quite a challenge. At this temperature, on the other hand, we are dealing with a material consisting of electrically charged particles, i.e. plasma, which can be separated from the environment by electromagnets. The separation of plasma and environment is solved by donut-shaped tokamaks (toroidal chambers with magnetic coils).
Then the cheap and clean nuclear energy is already coming?
For all such records, the researchers point out that the construction of a full-fledged fusion reactor and power plant may be due in decades, and no process has yet been achieved in which the fusion plant produces more energy than it consumes. The biggest hope is ITER to be built in France: the experimental thermonuclear reactor is currently one of the largest international magnetic-fusion research and development projects in the world, in which Hungarian researchers and engineers are also involved.
ITER, a € 20 billion investment with the cooperation of 35 countries (including China), has been under construction for less than a year. they started, the plant could be handed over in 2025, while the start of fusion power generation is predicted for 2035.
Source: technokrata by www.technokrata.hu.
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