Although getting rid of polluting fossil fuels and reversing climate change seems like an impossible task, nuclear fusion gives us a ray of hope.
Our Sun produces its energy with nuclear fusion. For developing a zero-carbon source of reliable power, scientists have long been working to generate energy from the fusion process. Scientists successfully generated fusion energy, but they are working on sustaining it for a longer duration.
In a big breakthrough, a South Korean ‘artificial Sun’ reactor achieved temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius. The nuclear fusion reaction lasted for 30 seconds.
A big step towards nuclear fusion energy
The duration and temperature achieved are not record-breaking. However, the simultaneous achievement of heat and stability brings us closer to a future with an unlimited source of energy.
Researchers from Seoul National University and the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy did this experiment with the reactor at the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR). They successfully achieved a superior technique for containing the plasma at the core of the reactor.
“We usually say that fusion energy is a dream energy source – it is almost limitless, with low emission of greenhouse gases and no high-level radioactive waste – [but the latest breakthrough] means fusion is not a dream,” said Yoo Suk-jae, president of the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy.
The research was published in the journal Nature.