In a revolutionary breakthrough, the UK-based Joint European Torus (JET) lab has achieved a new milestone. Scientists broke the record for generating and sustaining nuclear fusion set over 24 years ago.
Nuclear fusion is safe and sustainable
Although reversing climate change seems like an impossible task, nuclear fusion may give a ray of hope. In the mission to develop 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 longer duration.
According to EUROfusion’s statement, nuclear fusion can deliver four million times energy produced by coal, oil, or gas.
In the recent experiments, researchers achieved this success using the Tokamak reactor, installed at the JET facility. The scientists produced 59 mega-joules of energy sustained over five seconds. The average power produced was 11 megawatts per second.
Researchers fused isotopes of deuterium and tritium to form helium. It is the same process that powers stars like our Sun and this process gives off vast amounts of energy. But the temperatures inside the reactor were over 100 million degrees Celsius, ten times the core of the Sun.
Tony Donné, EUROfusion Program Manager, said, “The record, and more importantly the things we’ve learned about fusion under these conditions and how it fully confirms our predictions, show that we are on the right path to a future world of fusion energy. If we can maintain fusion for five seconds, we can do it for five minutes and then five hours as we scale up our operations in future machines.”