Tuesday, 27 December 2016

South Korea Comes a Step Closer to LIMITLESS Energy: Country's Fusion Reactor Sustains Plasma for More than a Minute in a New World Record

Engineers in South Korea have pushed the boundaries of nuclear fusion by setting a new record for maintaining plasma.

Plasma is one of the four states of matter - the others being liquid, gas and solid - with examples being lightning and the sun.

In a reactor at a national fusion facility, a team managed to keep superheated plasma in a steady state for more than a minute.

The new record marks another step towards nuclear fusion as a potentially limitless source of energy.

The institute, located in the city of Daejeon 160 km south of Seoul, is developing a tokamak-style reactor which aims to harness the energy of fusing atoms.

According to World Nuclear News, South Korea's National Fusion Research Institute (NFRI) achieved a world record for plasma operation.

Using the Korean Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) reactor, the team maintained superheated hydrogen gas in a magnetic field for 70 seconds - a fundamental step of the fusion process.

In a statement, the NFRI said: ‘The world record for high-performance plasma for more than a minute demonstrated that the KSTAR is the forefront in steady-state plasma operation technology in a superconducting device.’

‘This is a huge step forward for realisation of the fusion reactor.’

While other groups, such as the Tore Supra tokamak in France, have maintained fusion reactions for more than five minutes, the Korean team managed to sustain 'high performance' plasma, reducing the flux associated with the superheated state.

Nuclear fusion reactors works on the same principles as stars, by fusing atoms together to form heavier elements.

When the reactor is in full flow, it superheats ionised hydrogen gas to create plasma.

With the electrons stripped away, the atomic nuclei are then fused to generate energy.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, December 27th, 2016.]

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