Fusion Reactor World Record

Fusion is humanities greatest hope for a clean energy future and researches at MIT have just set a new world record for plasma pressure which is the ‘key ingredient’ for producing energy from fusion

The new record stands at 2.05 atmospheres which represents a 15 percent jump over the previous record

Both this record and the last were set at the custom-built Alcator C-Mod reactor at MIT.

A viable fusion reactor is still a long way off but these increased pressures equate to increased reaction rates, and are more evidence that we’re getting closer to a reactor that’s technologically and economically viable.

To reach the 2.05-atmosphere record, MIT researchers turned the reactor up to 35 million degrees Celsius (63 million degrees Fahrenheit) –

This is twice as hot as the Sun’s core and equates 300 trillion fusion reactions per second.

Scientists think fusion could give us the clean, safe, and virtually unlimited energy. It essentially replicates what’s happening in the Sun by heating tiny elements of matter to over several million degrees Celsius, and forming the superheated gas called plasma.

By Isolating the plasma from ordinary matter using a super-strong magnetic field you create an almost limitless energy source – one that could replace all nuclear and fossil fuel power plants in the world

Unlike nuclear fission which is the splitting of atoms that powers today’s nuclear power plants, nuclear fusion is the fusing together of atoms.  This creates no radioactive waste, and there’s no chance of a meltdown either.

That’s why scientists around the world are working hard to meet the incredibly complex challenges of replicating the sun in a laboratory

These small steps are very important for working out the finer details for the world’s largest fusion experiment called ITER, which is being built in France and due to come online around 2025.

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