In the last decade, there have been several breakthroughs in the creation of “artificial suns”, nuclear reactors that harness the fusion of light elements to produce energy. Copying what stars do every second holds the promise of unlimited clean energy, so international and national interest in the reactors has recently intensified. While China is part of international efforts, they are also committed to building experimental reactors within their borders, and the latest one is expected to go online soon. The HL-2M will be located in Chengdu, Sichuan, constructed by the Southwest Institute of Physics under the China National Nuclear Corporation. The reactor’s construction progress was announced at a conference a few weeks ago. HL-2M is a type of reactor known as a tokamak. These are shaped like a donut, but instead of a ring of fried dough, you have a ring of plasma hotter than the core of the Sun and constrained by strong magnetic fields.
IFL 18th Dec 2019 read more »