• Monday, Jan 20, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:27 am

China builds ‘artificial sun’ to source clean energy

  • Published at 11:32 pm December 6th, 2019
Artificial Sun-China
China’s nuclear fusion reaction, which is set to create energy equivalent to that of 10 suns, under construction AFP

The ‘sun’ is supposed to be 10 times hotter than the actual Sun

China has recently developed a nuclear fusion reactor to generate clean energy, whose production capacity is as much as 10 times what the actual sun generates. 

The construction of the reactor finished recently, and it is set to start operating in 2020, according to Xinhua News.

Although named HL-2M, the reactor is now being called China’s “artificial sun.” China National Nuclear Corporation, in collaboration with Southwestern Institute of Physics, built the reactor, which has been installed at Leshan in Sichuan province.

When active to its full capacity, the reactor can reach 200 million degrees Celsius – 13 times hotter than the Sun’s maximum temperature, which is 15 million degrees Celsius. 

The reactor will generate energy through nuclear fusion, which forces atoms to fuse together, which generates high levels of heat. It is the same reaction that happens on the Sun as well. 

The HL-2M has a doughnut-shaped chamber which is called Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST). The reactor will use hydrogen and deuterium gases as fuel to start the fusion reaction, and recreate what happens on the sun. 

HL-2M is a part of China's participation in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) based in France. ITER is, as of now, the world's largest nuclear fusion project amounting to a whopping 20 billion euros. 

Along with China, 34 countries have also participated in the project, which is expected to be complete by 2025.