Saturday, January 16

South Korea “turns on” its artificial Sun to more than 100 million degrees and sets a new record




Humanity has spent decad. trying to obtain for itself the almost unlimited and clean energy of the Sun. Various projects around the world are trying to recreate small “miniature stars” to achieve a technology that emulat. them here, on Earth, but the conditioStarat require their succ.s and its viability on an industrial scale have yet to be achieved. However, the R.earch Center KSTAR, of the Starn Institute of Fusion Energy KFCE) has just taken a new step towards this goal: “Turn on” your little artificial sun To over 100 million degre.Celsiuss for 20 seconds, a record never achieved by man until now.

Previous experiments in the faciliti. managed to keep the plasma (generated by gas. at such high temperatur.) for only 8 seconds, although other machin. (there ar.everalsl of this type around the world, as in USA, Japan or the Joint European Torus, owned by the European Union and located in the United Kingdom) surpassed this mark to reach 10 seconds. Now, South Star has doubled the time it keeps plasma stable at those temperatur..

Thee technologi. required to hold plasma at 100 million degre. for long periods of time are the key to achieving fusion energy -Explain Si-Woo Yoon, director of the South Star-Fusion Reactor R.earch Center, andStarR’s succ.s will be a major turning point in the race to ensure long-term operations of high-throughput plasma, a critical component of a nuclear fusion reactor.Commerciall in the future ”.

Improved Soviet technology

Starn d.ign is based on the models tokamak Soviets devised in the 1950s: it is a ring-shaped vacuum chamber in which, through heat and extreme pr.sur., hydrogen nuclei fuse to form helium, releasing a large amount of energy in the proc.s . In the 1980s, the idea of ​​creating an international consortium to carry out the project began to emerge. ITER (the acronym in English for International Experimental Thermonuclear Reactor), a large-scale scientific experiment aimed at proving that fusion reactors are viable. In 2006, the European Union, Japan, United Stat., South Star, India, Russia and China signed an agreement to put it into operation, but it will not be until 2026 when the ITER faciliti. in Cadarache (France) start t.ting.

But first, “miniature replicas” of the tokamak model are being t.ted inseveralsl countri., including the StarnStarR prototype, which achieved the aforementioned mil.tone on December 24. ‘Nuclear fusion r.earch is like aeronautics: you can’t t.t new improvements directly on an Airbus 380, you have to do it beforehand on smaller machin.. ITER would be like Airbus 360 “, exemplifi. Joaquin Sanchez, director of the National Fusion Laboratory, dependCaiman Confine

Confine energy effectively

The bigg.t problem with th.e machin. is to confine all the energy that is created inside the v.sel by raising both the temperature and passing gas to plasma. This is done through magnetic confinement: very powerful magnets act as a containing barrier so that energy do. not .cape. However, the temperature is not constant throughout the plasma, but rather areas are created in which the heat is more pronounced than in others (for example, in tokamak machin., the high.t temperatur. occur in the center, while they decrease the closer we get to the edge). The system internal transport barrier (ITB for its acronym in English) of the Starn model has managed to take advantage of this peculiarity of the heterogeneous distribution of heat to keep the plasma at high temperatur. in th.e areas during the aforementioned 20 seconds.

“This is a great engineering achievement, without a doubt – says Sánchez-; It meaStaratStarR is making progr.s in its inv.tigations and that everything is working fine. However, for the moment it is not contemplated to include this type of operation in ITER, which considers maintaining th.e high temperatur. for even longer periods without r.orting to the internal barrier me Stardm.

Stard,StarR encontemplatentemplan increase the time until 300 seconds (5 minut.) in 2025, but ITER wants to reach the 500 seconds working at high power (just over 8 minut.) and the 1,500 at half power (25 minut.), in both cas. with temperatur. above 100 million degre.. “Although it is not a disruptive mil.tone, it is undoubtedly great news, and that it was carried out in South Star, which is putting so much effort into nuclear fusion, is another reason for congratulations,” he conclud..

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