|This photo, taken on
Saturday, February 4, 2006, shows the Experimental Advanced
Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) in Hefei, capital of East China's Anhui
BEIJING, March. 1
(Xinhuanet) -- 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.
Li Jiangang, head of the Institute of Plasma Physics
under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and leader of the project, said the
enterprise is a "major move" for China to tap the clean energy from nuclear
China has provided the project, dubbed the
Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), with an investment of
165million yuan (about 20 million U.S. dollars).
The EAST's final assembly has been completed. The
device will be subject to vacuumizing, 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, the EAST can create plasma with a
temperature between 50 to 100 million Celsius degrees and a lifespan of 1,000
"Once successful in the discharge tests, the EAST
will be the first full superconducting experimental Tokamak fusion device
everput into operation in the world, and will be unbeatable for at least one
decade," Li said.
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.
|JET Pulse #64159 - View of a plasma from
the KL1 CCD video camera from behind a quartz window(Source:
"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 said.
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 irrecycled mineral resources such as uranium and
All the commercialized nuclear reactors in the world
were designed for fission, a process contrary to the ITER's fusion, andhave to
consume irrecycled mineral resources such as uranium and plutonium. Waste of
fission reactors are radioactive while a fusion reaction is rather
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. Enditem