South Korea’s magnetic fusion device, the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research, or KSTAR, has set a new world record, reaching an ion temperature of over 100 million degrees Celsius for a record 20 seconds.
The device has set a new world record for fusion when compared to the core of the sun, which burns at only 15 million degrees Celsius.
Harnessing the power of nuclear fusion has been the vision of researchers since the early 20th century but had overtime proved to be a tough riddle to crack. Nuclear fusion works by integrating two atomic nuclei into a larger nucleus to release energy, promising to release more energy than it consumes.
The Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR), a superconducting fusion device also known as the Korean artificial sun, set the new world record as it succeeded in maintaining the high temperature plasma for 20 seconds with an ion temperature over 100 million degrees (Celsius).
“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 realization of nuclear fusion energy,” added Yong-Su Na, professor at the department of Nuclear Engineering, SNU, who has been jointly conducting the research on the KSTAR plasma operation.