A South Korean fusion reactor sets a new record by sustaining a high-performance plasma in a nuclear fusion energy breakthrough. The realization of the feasibility of a fusion reactor would offer a limitless supply of clean energy.
Explorations for a renewable energy have been on the radar for many scientists for a long time already. Notably, one of its most reasonable options is the nuclear power, but the process behind it is considered really complicated and difficult to achieve.
Nuclear Fusion Generates More Energy
Nuclear power is the usage of nuclear reactions that dispenses nuclear energy in order to generate heat. This is most often used in producing electricity in nuclear power plants with steam turbines.
Meanwhile, one variant called the nuclear fusion is found to provide even more energy. In definition, nuclear fusion is the reaction when two or more atomic nuclei comes closer to each other enough to create another one or more different atomic nuclei and subatomic particles that are protons and/or neutrons.
This is basically the opposite process behind nuclear fission wherein an atom’s nucleus splits into tinier parts. On the other hand, the nuclear fusion’s combination of two light nuclei generates more energy.
However, fusing together the atoms are really difficult. In super high temperatures, stabilization of the mechanism behind nuclear fusion is extremely tricky since the super-hot plasma continues to keep the reaction going.
Record-Setting Fusion Reactor Mechanism
Fortunately, this difficulty may soon be surpassed as researchers from the Korean Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) has made it closer to the energy research’s holy grail. How? They only just discovered a way to sustain the highly-performing plasma which sets a record with 70 seconds making a nuclear fusion energy breakthrough.
The duration of the time may not be considered too long and a few may scoff. However, it is worth noting that for this complex method, it is the longest time ever for any group to achieve using the key process for fusion.
In order to achieve the reaction, plasma blobs are heated up to 300 million degrees. Once it is all good and heated, the scientists can then move on to yet another complicated stage.
The extremely hot plasma will now need to be held extremely still in place that is achieved by using immensely powerful magnetic fields. Energy will then be released when the blobs are maintained long enough for the hydrogen atoms to be able to fuse together.
Undoubtedly, this research is a phenomenal nuclear fusion energy breakthrough. With the fusion reactor, access to a sustainable energy will be at reach. Moreover, our environment will not peril from it.