China’s HL-2M Tokamak reactor, located in the southwest of China in Sichuan province, uses ultra-powerful magnets to create and fuse hot plasma at temperature over 150 million degrees Celsius, a mind-blowing temperature “approximately ten times hotter than the core of the sun.” The tokamak that powered up for the first time last week was just the biggest and latest version of a project that China has been working on for almost 15 years now. “The development of nuclear fusion energy is not only a way to solve China’s strategic energy needs, but also has great significance for the future sustainable development of China’s energy and national economy,” said the People’s Daily, China’s largest news group and an official news outlet of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. Instead of competing with the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), an international nuclear fusion research project located in the south of France which is currently the world’s largest, China plans to work in collaboration with the project. ITER is still under development, and is slated to come online in 2025, when it could very well be the first major step toward commercializing nuclear fusion (despite the project’s whopping $22.5 billion price tag).
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China has powered up its nuclear fusion reactor for the first time, in a step forward for technology which would ultimately provide a powerful and limitless source of clean energy. The HL-2M Tokamak reactor in Chengdu, Sichuan province, is designed to use a powerful magnetic field to fuse hot plasma at temperatures of 150 million celsius – more than 10 times hotter than the sun’s core. The reactor, referred to as an “artificial sun” because of the enormous heat and power it produces, was completed last year.
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