Here comes China’s ‘artificial sun’, a likely source for clean, limitless energy

Chinese scientists are close to deploying an “artificial sun” by 2020, state media has reported, adding that the device will be able to provide clean energy through controlled nuclear fusion.

“The HL-2M Tokamak, China’s next-generation “artificial sun,” is expected to be operational in 2020 as installation work has gone smoothly since the delivery of the coil system in June,” official news agency, Xinhua reported this week.

The device works by replicating the natural reactions that occur in the sun using hydrogen and deuterium gases as fuels.

“The new apparatus, with a more advanced structure and control mode, is expected to generate plasmas hotter than 200 million degrees Celsius,” said Duan Xuru, head of the Southwestern Institute of Physics under the China National Nuclear Corporation was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

The report added that the artificial sun will provide key technical support for China’s participation in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, as well as the self-designing and building of fusion reactors.

“China is among seven members funding ITER, an international nuclear fusion research and engineering project that is building a tokamak nuclear fusion reactor in France, considered to be the world’s largest magnetic confinement physics experiment,” the Caixin news website reported.