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Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak
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Chinese scientists set global record with artificial sun

Chinese scientists have successfully operated an experimental thermonuclear fusion reactor to achieve high-confinement plasma for more than 100 seconds, a new record length of time in the world.
The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) in Hefei, East China's Anhui province, has been dubbed as artificial sun since it replicates the energy-generating process of the sun.

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China recently conducted a transnational remote controlled plasma discharge experiment with its new generation "artificial sun" device, formally known as an Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), which has been built in Hefei, Anhui province. Through a dedicated data network, experts from General Atomics USA were easily able to start the nuclear fusion experimental installation from the other side of the globe with the click of a mouse.
Wu Songtao, deputy director of the Institute of Plasma Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the remote controlled plasma discharge has laid the foundation for broader joint research into nuclear fusion in the near future, and set an example for multinational experimentation with international thermonuclear fusion experimental reactors (ITER).
It was reported that the data and discharge images received by experts in the DIII-D experimental nuclear fusion laboratory at General Atomics USA are exactly the same as those obtained by the Chinese scientists in the control room. In this first international operation, the plasma discharge lasted close to five seconds and generated an electrical current of 250 kiloamperes.
According to Wu, due to the time difference between the continents, EAST physical experiments can be carried out by remote operation around the clock. The Chinese can do experiments during the daytime and the Americans can work the night shift. A suitable time can also be arranged for the Europeans to get involved, said Wu. This way, scientists will be able to accelerate fusion research enabling people to channel the energy produced by nuclear fusion as early as possible.
Wu also noted that the next ITER, another experimental device developed by China, the EU, the United States, South Korea, Japan, Russia and India will be built in France. By adopting the same means of experimentation, scientists will not need to work on site.
On September 28, 2006, after eight years of construction at a cost of around 200 million yuan, the EAST was completed and put into operation. In the first round of experiments, scientists realized circular high temperature plasma discharge which lasted nearly for five seconds and generated an electrical current of 500 kiloamperes. The EAST is the world's first nuclear fusion experimental installation with a superconducting magnet and active cooling system. China thereupon marched into the ranks of advanced countries in the field of magnetic confinement fusion.

Source People's Daily

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Chinese scientists on Thursday successfully conducted their first test of an experimental thermonuclear fusion reactor, which replicates the energy generating process of the sun.

The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) fusion reactor, nicknamed "artificial sun", was tested at the Institute of Plasma Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Hefei, capital city of east China's Anhui Province. During the experiment, deuterium and tritium atoms were forced together at a temperature of 100 million Celsius.
The first tests lasted nearly three seconds, and generated an electrical current of 200 kiloamperes

Source Xinhua

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The first plasma discharge from China's experimental advanced superconducting research centre -- the so-called "artificial sun" -- is set to occur next month.

The discharge, expected about August 15, will be conducted at Science Island in Hefei, in east China's Anhui Province.
A successful test will mean the world's first nuclear fusion device of its kind will be ready to go into actual operation.
The plasma discharge will draw international attention since some scientists are concerned with risks involved in such a process. But Chinese researchers involved in the project say any radiation will cease once the test is completed.
The experiment will take place in a structure made of reinforced concrete, with five-foot-thick walls and a three-foot-thick roof.


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China's new generation experimental Tokamak fusion device will conduct its first discharge test in July or August this year. If the experiments prove successful, it would be the world's first experimental nuclear fusion device to come into operation.
China has invested 165million yuan into the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) project, in Hefei, capital of East China's Anhui province.

The EAST's final assembly has been completed. The device will be subject to vacuumising, cooling and galvanizing experiments from Feb. 20 to March. If the discharge experiment proves successful, it will await state inspection and approval according to routine procedures.
According to Li Jiangang, head of the Institute of Plasma Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the EAST can create plasma with a temperature between 50 to 100 million Celsius degrees and a lifespan of 1,000 consecutive seconds.

"Once successful in the discharge tests, the EAST will be the first full superconducting experimental Tokamak fusion device ever put into operation in the world, and will be unbeatable for at least one decade" - Li Jiangang.

In the mid 1980s, nations including the United States and the former Soviet Union launched a 10 billion-euro ambitious plan, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), which was joined by China in 2003.

"The EAST is the only prototype nearest to the ITER and, thus, it can serve ITER advanced research in terms of engineering technology and physics" - Li Jiangang.

Using deuterium, which is in seawater, as fuel for reaction, a hydrogen plasma torus operating at over 100 million Celsius degrees will produce 500 megawatts of fusion power. The development of ITER is based on the idea of edging out unrecycled mineral resources such as uranium and plutonium.
All the commercialised nuclear reactors in the world were designed for fission, a process contrary to the ITER's fusion, and have to consume unrecycled mineral resources such as uranium and plutonium. Waste of fission reactors are radioactive while a fusion reaction is rather environment-friendly.
The EAST is an upgrade of China's first superconducting Tokamak device, dubbed HT-7, which was also built by the plasma physics institute in 1994. The HT-7 made China the fourth country in the world, after Russia, France and Japan, to have such a device.

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View of a plasma from the KL1 CCD video camera from behind a quartz window.
Source: CRIENGLISH.com

-- Edited by Blobrana at 22:28, 2006-01-23

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The Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), started in 2003, is on course to complete the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) by March or April this year.

When completed the facility will become the first in the world to have built an all-Superconducting non-circular section nuclear fusion experiment facility, with the aim of exploring clean energy resources.
The extraction of deuterium from seawater and the fusion of this element in temperatures as high as 100 million degrees Celsius are hoped to circumvent the energy resource crisis.
Using fusion, deuterium abstracted from one kilogram of seawater will be able to produce as much energy as that of 300 litres of petrol.

In 1990, the CAS Institute of Plasma Physics built China's first Superconducting Tokamak equipment HT-7, making China the fourth country in the world to have such equipment after Russia, France and Japan. In 2000, scientists at this institute began to build a new-generation all-Superconducting non-circular section Tokamak equipment on the basis of HT-7 and gave it the new name EAST.
As an upgraded product of HT-7, EAST brings China into the globally leading group in nuclear fusion research. It is also a key project of China's ninth five-year-plan.

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