By Rishith Jain, Age: 12 Years, Neerja Modi School, Rajasthan
China achieved an amazing feat recently with its ‘Artificial Sun’ that reached temperatures that were reported to be five-times hotter than the Sun.
This ‘Artificial Sun’ is called EAST (Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak) and it is a nuclear fusion reactor. The reactor maintained a temperature of 158 million° Fahrenheit (70 million °C) for 17 minutes, according to China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency. This brings scientists closer to realising the dream of creating a near-unlimited source of clean energy.
Nuclear fusion eliminates the creation of greenhouse gases during generation of usuable power (electricity). If done right, it could pave way for clean energy consumption in the future.
Do you know what nuclear fusion is?
The process involves fusing two particles (2 light nuclei) together which releases large amounts of energy. Sustained, controlled fusion reactions have been an aim for physicists world over. The Sun and other stars in the universe are powered with nuclear fusion reactions.
The donut shaped EAST has been operated since 2006.
EAST is expected to cost the People’s Republic of China more than $1 trillion by the time the experiment finishes. The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is another large-scale fusion reactor that is currently being built in France. ITER is set to be the world's largest nuclear reactor and the product of collaboration between 35 countries (including countries of the European Union, the U.K., China, India and U.S.A ). ITER contains the world's most powerful magnet and is expected to start functioning by 2025.