An important step towards generating electricity via nuclear fusion has been achieved at the end of November this year. The KSTAR Research Center from the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE) announced a joint research project with the Columbia University of the United States and the Seoul National University (SNU).
Ladbible.com writes that the artificial sun built by South Korea has succeeded in maintaining the high-temperature plasma for a span of 20 seconds with an ion temperature that exceeded 100 million degrees Celsius.
Director Si-Woo Yoon from the KSTAR Research Center at the KFE declared for phys.org:
The technologies required for long operations of 100 million-plasma are the key to the realisation of fusion energy, and the KSTAR’s success in maintaining the high-temperature plasma for 20 seconds will be an important turning point in the race for securing the technologies for the long high-performance plasma operation, a critical component of a commercial nuclear fusion reactor in the future.
Yong-Su Na, who is a professor at the Department of Nuclear Engineering and who has been jointly conducting the research, explains more:
The success of the KSTAR experiment in the long, high-temperature operation by overcoming some drawbacks of the ITB modes brings us a step closer to the development of technologies for realisation of nuclear fusion energy.
The next purpose of KFE is to maintain the same operation for 300 seconds by the year 2025. It will mean being capable to control the instability of power generation based on nuclear fusion.
Fusion power is a proposed form of power generation that would create electricity by using heat generated by nuclear fusion reactions. During a fusion process, two lighter atomic nuclei will combine to form a heavier nucleus and to release energy. The fusion reactors are the devices designed to harness this energy.