UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — China has set a precedent for a world-class facility to preserve the conditions necessary for nuclear fusion, a move that is critical to renewable energy sources.
The reactor, which is located in Hefei (east), is being tested in the framework of a large international project currently under way in southeast France called “Itter” and aimed at controlling the fusion of atoms.
In 2017, this Chinese machine hit the world record for the maximum period in which the conditions necessary for fusion of the nucleus of the atom are maintained. Then last November, it broke its record with a temperature of 100 million degrees in the heart of the reactor, six times higher than heat from the heart of the sun.
This device is known as the giant English abbreviated “East” as a “Tokamak large experimental pilot”.
The tokamak is a chamber of magnetic inductors designed primarily in the Soviet Union that generates great heat to dissolve atomic nuclei.
This nuclear “fusion” used to detonate hydrogen bombs and “fission” (atom division) in conventional atomic facilities should be distinguished.
Nuclear fusion or fusion is the energy of the future, as it is not infinite, as it is emitted from the sun. It generates neither waste nor greenhouse gases.
“Through this machine, we hope that China will contribute to the diffusion of the use of nuclear fusion technology,” said Song Yuntao, one of the officials responsible for the pilot project.
– 150 million degrees –
The difficulty is, of course, to maintain this extremely high temperature permanently in equipment that can withstand it. The task is undoubtedly expensive. More than 12 years after the project was launched, Etter’s budget is estimated at about 20 billion euros.
In the city of Hefei, the reactor sits inside a cement facility and is connected by wires and pipes to a series of devices, including measuring devices, in what resembles a ray within a bicycle frame.
Research on nuclear fusion is not the result of time. According to Etter, the UK’s Jet project is the strongest Tokamak ever built.
Other rooms for magnetic inductors, some of which have been withdrawn from service, have been constructed in Europe, the United States, Japan and South Korea. It has generally achieved better results than those achieved by IT, according to Wu Songtao, an engineer at ITER.
“The heat of the East was 100 million degrees in the heart of the machine, and the temperature was much lower outside the central nucleus,” he said.
It is expected to heat the reactor under construction in Saint-Paul-le-Durrance, which will be 10 times larger than its predecessors, 150 million degrees. The first trials are expected in 2025 at the earliest.
– Cooperate –
For its part, China plans to build another nuclear fusion reactor that, unlike East, will connect to an electric grid that could begin to be fed “by 2040 or 2050” after completion in 2030, according to Song Yuntao.
The budget of the project is estimated at 6 billion yuan.
It is true that these large projects are supported by ITER, but they reflect the great scientific progress made in China, Wu said.
It is true that the country is “about 20 or 30 years late” from the major industrial powers in terms of nuclear energy, but “its capabilities have developed rapidly in the last twenty years, especially since joining Inter,” the engineer said.
Because of the enormous cost of such projects, “nuclear fusion is not a technology that nations can implement on their own, so the people of the world must cooperate to achieve it, as in Inter,” Song said.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.
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