China has claimed a new record with its nuclear fusion reactor that can become ten times hotter than the sun. According to state media, the Tokamak HL-2M reactor recently reached a temperature of 160 million degrees Celsius.
The Tokamak HL-2M reactor is basically a magnetic chamber that generates phenomenal heat to fuse atomic nuclei together and generate energy. It was presented in December (2020) as a “groundbreaking way” to generate energy. Many scientists see nuclear fusion as the best way to limit carbon emissions.
The first result is promising: China’s artificial sun reached a temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds. After that, some scientists managed to push the temperature even further to 160 million degrees Celsius, which took another 20 seconds.
This brings China one step closer to its goal: to reach a temperature of more than 100 million degrees Celsius and maintain that temperature for about 1,000 seconds or 17 minutes.
The difficulty is to sustainably maintain temperatures and retain them in resistant materials. France also started construction of a gigantic fusion reactor for the ITER project in Saint-Paul-lès-Durance in July. The aim is to generate 150 million degrees Celsius there, but the first tests are not expected before 2025.