South Korea’s ‘Artificial Sun’ Breaks World Record

South Korea’s magnetic fusion device, the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) has set a new world record for fusion.

  • It achieved a temperature of over 100 million degrees Celsius for 20 seconds.
  • The Sun burns at 15 million degrees Celsius. By comparison, the KSTAR was able to achieve a temperature of over 6.6 times more than that of Sun’s.
  • The KSTAR has often been referred to as South Korea’s “artificial sun”.
  • It is a part of joint research conducted with Seoul National University and Columbia University of the US.
  • In December 2020 China powered up the HL-2M Tokamak reactor, which managed to heat plasma to a temperature of 150 million degrees Celsius but for about 10 seconds.

Why Fusion Devices are Future of Energy Source

  • Fusion devices mimic the same reactions that take place inside the Sun and could potentially provide a powerful and limitless source of clean energy by releasing massive amounts of energy that can be converted into electricity.
  • Unlike nuclear fission, it creates little radioactive waste and is considerably less dangerous, but is also more expensive.