This week, China switched on a nuclear fusion reactor. The “artificial sun” is known as the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (or EAST for short). After turning it on, China noticed record high levels for sustained temperatures.
According to China’s state media, the EAST reactor ran five times hotter than the real Sun for over 17 minutes. …
The idea behind nuclear fusion reactors isn’t exactly easy. The entire basis of the idea is built on replicating the physics of the actual Sun. Artificial suns do this by merging atomic nuclei together to generate massive amounts of energy. Researchers are then trying to find ways to transfer all of that energy into electricity.
Because artificial suns don’t require any fossil fuels to run, and they also leave behind no hazardous waste, physicists say there is far less risk to the environment. This is especially true when you compare it to other energy sources out there, like nuclear fission reactors.
17 minutes is a big deal, a major step forward in developing fusion reactors.
Fusion power is the future, clean and abundant, if we can get there before society becomes too incompetent.
Fossil fuels are just the short term energy source before fusion.