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China's 'Artificial Sun' achieves fusion breakthrough

(People's Daily Online)    15:29, November 03, 2016

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Chinese scientists have successfully obtained high-confinement plasma for a record length of time, which experts believe will promote the development of international thermonuclear fusion research.

The recent experiment was conducted using China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), an experimental thermonuclear fusion reactor that replicates the energy-generating process of the sun. The experiment demonstrated the sustainability of plasma in the H-mode confinement regime, lasting over one minute. This achievement will be key to the success of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the largest international program dedicated to thermonuclear fusion experiments. It also marks a major step forward for fusion studies, Thepaper.cn reported on Nov. 2.

This is not the first time that EAST has generated enduring plasma. In 2012, plasma in a similar environment was maintained for 32 seconds, breaking the world record at that time. Since then, EAST has had its tungsten diverters and auxiliary heating system upgraded, laying the foundation to create long-pulse, high-confinement plasma.

Officially established in 2006, the EAST fusion reactor is run by the Institute of Plasma Physics in Hefei, which aims for plasma pulses lasting up to 1,000 seconds.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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