MOSCOW, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Russian scientists have set a world record in heating thermonuclear plasma, the Russian Academy of Science (RAN) said Thursday.
"The temperature of 4.5 million degrees Celsius is approximately 1.5 to two times higher than it has been achieved previously," the Itar-Tass news agency quoted Alexander Ivanov, deputy director of the Budker Nuclear Physics Institute of the RAN, as saying.
That achievement is a step to the peaceful use of thermonuclear energy, Ivanov said. So far, the process of nuclear fusion could be carried out only as an unmanageable reaction during thermonuclear explosions of the H-bombs.
"No other equipment in the world is capable of heating heat plasma to such temperature," the scientists said, adding that the record was set in November in the institute based in the city of Novosibirsk in southern Siberia.
The record-high temperature of plasma was sustained for about 10 milliseconds, according to the experimenters.
Currently, international scientific community has been building the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in France.
Ivanov said the scientists hope to reach the temperature of 7 million degrees during future experiments, adding the equipment used in Budker Institute costing 300 million U.S. dollars, which was considerably cheaper than the spending for the ITER.
The ITER's equipment worth 10 billion dollars will be used for similar experiments.
Russia participates in that project along with the European Union, China, India, the United States, Japan and South Korea.