Korean synthetic solar, KSTAR, units the brand new world file of 20-sec-long operation at 100 million °C – Watts Up With That?

Korean artificial sun, KSTAR, sets the new world record of 20-sec-long operation at 100 million °C – Watts Up With That?

The goal is to operate high-temperature plasma continuously over 100 million degrees for 300 seconds by 2025


Announcement of the science business

Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR), a superconducting fusion device also known as the Korean artificial sun, set the new world record by maintaining the high temperature plasma for 20 seconds with an ion temperature of over 100 million degrees.

On November 24th (Tuesday), the KSTAR research center at the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KEF) announced that it had succeeded in continuously adding plasma in a joint research with Seoul National University (SNU) and Columbia University in the USA operate for 20 seconds with an ion temperature of more than 100 million degrees, which is one of the core conditions of nuclear fusion in the KSTAR plasma campaign 2020

It is an achievement to more than double the 8-second plasma operating time during the 2019 KSTAR Plasma Campaign. In its experiment from 2018, the KSTAR reached the plasma ion temperature of 100 million degrees for the first time (retention time: approx. 1.5 seconds).

To restore fusion reactions that occur in Earth's sun, hydrogen isotopes must be placed in a fusion device such as KSTAR to create a plasma state in which ions and electrons are separated, and ions must be heated and held at high temperatures.

Previously, there have been other fusion devices that briefly handled plasma at temperatures of 100 million degrees or higher. None of them broke the barrier to keep operations going for 10 seconds or more. It is the operating limit of the normally conducting device * and it has been difficult to maintain a stable plasma state in the fusion device at such high temperatures for a long time.

* Limitations of a normal line device: In contrast to the KSTAR, a melter with superconducting magnets, the existing melters, which are based on normally conductive magnets such as copper, cannot be operated for a long period of time because a high electrical current flows through the magnet that is a If a magnetic field that is strong enough to trap the plasma is created, the magnet will overheat due to its resistance.

In its 2020 experiment, the KSTAR improved the performance of the Internal Transport Barrier (ITB) mode, one of the next-generation plasma operating modes developed last year, and managed to maintain the plasma state over a long period of time and within the existing limits of too overcome the ultra-high temperature plasma operation.

Director Si-Woo Yoon of the KSTAR Research Center at KFE stated: “The technologies required to operate 100 million plasma over the long term are the key to realizing fusion energy and the KSTAR's success in maintaining high temperature plasma for 20 years Seconds will be an important turning point in the race to secure the technologies for the long, high-performance plasma operation that will be an important component of a commercial nuclear fusion reactor in the future. "

"The success of the KSTAR experiment in long high-temperature operation by overcoming some of the disadvantages of the ITB modes brings us one step closer to the development of technologies for the realization of nuclear fusion energy," added Yong-Su Na, professor at the Department of Nuclear Technology, SNU, who jointly the Has conducted research on KSTAR plasma operation.

Dr. Young-Seok Park of Columbia University, who helped create the high temperature plasma, said, “We are honored to be part of such an important achievement in KSTAR. The 100 million degree ion temperature achieved by enabling efficient nuclear plasma heating over such a long period of time demonstrated the unique capability of the superconducting KSTAR device and is recognized as a compelling foundation for high-performance stationary fusion plasmas. "

KSTAR put the device into operation last August and plans to continue its plasma generation experiment through December 10th. A total of 110 plasma experiments are carried out, including high-performance plasma operation and experiments to reduce plasma disturbances, which are joint research experiments with research organizations at home and abroad.

In addition to its success in high temperature plasma operations, the KSTAR Research Center conducts experiments on a variety of topics, including ITER research, to solve complex problems in fusion research during the remainder of the trial period.

KSTAR will share its key experimental results in 2020, including this success, with fusion researchers around the world at the IAEA Fusion Energy Conference, which will be held in May.

The ultimate goal of the KSTAR is to have 300 seconds of continuous operation with an ion temperature greater than 100 million degrees by 2025.

KFE President Suk Jae Yoo stated, “I am very pleased to announce the new start of the KFE as Korea's independent research organization.” “The KFE will continue its tradition of conducting challenging research in order to achieve the goal of humanity: realization the nuclear fusion energy, ”he continued.

On November 20, 2020, the KFE, formerly the National Fusion Research Institute, an affiliate of the Korea Basic Science Institute, was launched as an independent research organization


Further information on KFE and KSTAR can be found at: https://www.kfe.re.kr/eng/index

To download the pictures from KSTAR, follow this link: https://www.kfe.re.kr/eng/post/eng_photo

The Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE) is Korea's only research institute that specializes in nuclear fusion. Based on our development and the operation of KSTAR, a superconducting fusion research device, the KFE aims to achieve groundbreaking research results, develop core technologies for the commercialization of nuclear fusion and train outstanding personnel for nuclear fusion. In addition, the institute is leading a joint effort to usher in the era of nuclear fusion energy in the mid-21st century through active participation in the ITER project.

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