As per the plan, the ministry will continue to improve the operating technology in the area of KSTAR experiments. It has shown good results in the past. For example, this year 100 million degree ultra-high temperature was maintained for 30 seconds. Now by 2026, such technology is to be developed, which can maintain this temperature for 300 seconds.
Nuclear fusion is the basic principle of artificial sunlight and heat generation. The government is aiming to generate electricity by artificially applying this principle on Earth with KSTAR. For the first time in 2018, the Korean research team maintained KSTAR at 100 million degrees for 1.5 seconds. Last year it was maintained at 100 million degrees for 20 seconds and this year for 30 seconds.
The government also laid down the basic concepts of generating electricity through nuclear fusion in the future. Along with this, a plan was also presented to prepare an ‘R&D roadmap’ including the required network by the year 2030.
Significantly, China is also working on making an artificial sun. China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) set a new record this year. Under the experiment, a plasma temperature of 216 million Fahrenheit i.e. 120 million Celsius was maintained for 101 seconds. What’s more, scientists working on the “artificial sun” were able to maintain a temperature of 288 million Fahrenheit (160 million Celsius) for 20 seconds.
The Tokamak device, located at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) in Hefei, is designed to reproduce the nuclear fusion process. The same process occurs in the Sun and other stars as well, which generates heat and light. This experiment was done to provide unlimited clean energy through controlled nuclear fusion. The previous record of maintaining 180 million Fahrenheit (100 million Celsius) for 100 seconds has now been broken. This is a big step towards working with nuclear fusion.
Both Corona and China are aiming to meet their future energy needs through artificial sun.