New tokamak (installation for plasma confinement), which journalists called “artificial sun” will bring the Chinese researchers to implement fusion.
Tokamak HL-2M is a part of government project to create an Experimental advanced superconducting tokamak (EAST), which started in 2006, was planned to run until the end of 2019. During a recent conference on fusion energy, the head of the southwestern Institute of physics Duan Suigu announced that the device will be ready in 2020.
Professor Duan told those present that the new tokamak will heat a plasma to a temperature of more than 200 million degrees Celsius. It is about 13 times hotter than the center of the Sun. In November last year, the reactor EAST brought the temperature of the electrons in the plasma to 100 million degrees, writes Newsweek.
According to physicist James Harrison from the Department of atomic energy UK, the tokamak HL-2M is different from the other flexibility of the magnetic field. Scientists will be able to configure it to protect the inner walls of the device from exposure to high temperatures.
Schematic representation of the tokamak
The first stage of construction will probably be to test each part of the system separately and then assembled. This will start the production of plasma with relatively low performance and a gradual increase in efficiency in parallel with increasing levels of reliability and manageability of the system.
What does it do
Harrison argues that HL-2M will give researchers valuable data about the compatibility of productive fusion plasma with the methods of effective management of heat and particles from the nucleus of this device. This is one of the main problems standing in the way of developing a commercial fusion reactor. The results of HL-2M will affect the reactor design of the entire international community.
A controlled reaction of thermonuclear fusion is considered by many researchers as a “natural” source of energy in the long run. The development of fusion technology can be a key factor creating a virtually inexhaustible source of energy, because the fuel reserves – hydrogen – are limitless. Fuel can be extracted from seawater on any coast in the world, making it impossible for the monopolization of the fuel resources of one or group of countries.
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