With the goal of ultimately be able to generate and harness a powerful and clean energy, China is taking a step towards nuclear fusion by powering, for the first time, its own-generated “artificial sun.”
Dubbed the “HL-2M Tokamak,” the nuclear-powered reactor is found in the Sichuan province in China and releases heat measured at 150 million Celsius—10 times hotter than the sun; thus the “artificial sun” moniker—in order to fuse plasma within a strong magnetic field.
A concept known in science for a very long time, scientists have been experimenting with nuclear fusion for decades; with the reactors playing a significant role in facilitating an event that copies the phenomenon believed to be inherent in the creation of stars through atomic nuclei.
Apart from the notion of being able to produce limitless supply of energy, a successful endeavor about nuclear fusion could also see it supplanting the existing nuclear fission process, which is infamous for generating radioactive wastes that threaten the environment.
Still far from attaining its ultimate goal, however, the project only makes for a single step forward towards the ideal.
Source: The Independent