South Korea’s artificial sun recently succeeded in setting a new world record. To achieve this, it maintained the high-temperature plasma for 20 seconds. At the same time, it also maintained the ion temperature of over 100 million degrees (Celsius).
On November 27th, the KSTAR Research Center at the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE) announced a research project, in collaboration with the Seoul National University (SNU) and Columbia University of the US. Giving way to a successful start, the plasma could continuously operate for 20 seconds. Also, it could maintain its ion temperature greater than 100 million degrees.
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This milestone marks a significant step in the generation of electricity through nuclear fusion.
Si Woo Yoon, a director at the KSTAR research center, said: “The technologies needed for long operations of 100 million-plasma are the key to the realization of fusion energy”. He stated that this achievement is an imperative turning point in safeguarding the technologies for the long-term plasma operation with high performance. The director also said that it’s an essential component in commercial nuclear fusion reactors. These products are set to be manufactured in the future.
The Team Overcome Some Drawbacks Through This Research
Yong-Su Na, a nuclear engineering professor involved in the research, stated that the team overcame some drawbacks of the ITB modes through the success of this experiment.
Dr. Young-Seok Park of Columbia University said that they are truly honored to be part of this achievement. He further stated that the success of the experiment showcased the unique abilities of the superconducting KSTAR device. This will also be recognized as a compelling basis for high performance, steady-state fusion plasmas.
The Next Target Of KFE
The new target of KFE is to make the artificial sun operate for 300 seconds by 2025. If this can be done, it’ll be possible to control the instability of nuclear fusion-based power generation.
South Korea recently launched KFE as an independent research institute. Suk-Jae Yoo, the president of KFE, stated: “The KFE will continue its tradition of undertaking challenging researches to achieve the goal of mankind: the realization of nuclear fusion energy”.