South Korean engineers have recently found to have defied the boundaries of nuclear fusion by setting a new record for maintaining plasma. On Thursday, researchers have revealed that they have achieved a world record of 70 seconds in high-performance plasma operation, taking a step forward in commercializing a nuclear fusion reaction to produce electricity.
Nuclear Fusion And Plasma, What's the Link?
According to reports by The Korea Herald, unlike any other light and heavy water nuclear reactors that are widely used as of the moment, it was found that a nuclear fusion reaction provides safer electricity as it produces low levels of radioactive waste. Along with the United States, the European Union, Japan, Russia and China, experts have revealed that South Korea is also known to be a part of an international consortium which aims to build a commercial nuclear fusion reactor.
Furthermore, the National Fusion Research Institute (NFRI), which is a Korean state-run research center in charge of the projects, has explained that the fusion reactor's achievement as allegedly a huge step in commercializing nuclear fusion technology. As per Daily Mail, the institute is located in the city of Daejeon 160 km south of Seoul. It was found that the research center is on the process of developing a tokamak-style reactor which aims to harness the energy of fusing atoms.
Consequently, experts have revealed that because of the collaborative efforts in the said study, it has already achieved a world record for plasma operation. In one of their statements, the NFRI said that through the use of the Korean Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) reactor, the team has reportedly been able maintain a superheated hydrogen gas in a magnetic field for 70 seconds, which is found to be a fundamental step of the fusion process.
Ultimately, experts of the said project have further revealed that when the reactor is fully operational, they are hopeful in achieving the 2.6 atmospheres of pressure and generate temperatures of 150 million degrees Celsius (270 million degrees Fahrenheit). Institute's head Kim Keeman has claimed that they will exert all necessary efforts for KSTAR to continuously produce world-class results and to promote international joint research among nuclear fusion researchers.