China turns on ‘artificial sun’

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News: China has successfully powered up its artificial sun nuclear fusion reactor named “HL-2M Tokamak reactor”.

Facts:

  • HL-2M Tokamak reactor: It is China’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device that can potentially unlock a powerful clean energy source.
  • It uses a powerful magnetic field to fuse hot plasma and can reach temperatures of over 150 million degrees Celsius approximately ten times hotter than the core of the sun.
  • Hence, the reactor is often called an “artificial sun” on account of the enormous heat and power it produces.

Additional Facts:

  • Nuclear Fusion: It is considered the Holy Grail of energy and is what powers our sun.It merges atomic nuclei to create massive amounts of energy — the opposite of the fission process used in atomic weapons and nuclear power plants which splits them into fragments.
  • Advantages of Fusion: Unlike fission, fusion emits no greenhouse gases and carries less risk of accidents or the theft of atomic material. But achieving fusion is both extremely difficult and prohibitively expensive.
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