Breaking Boundaries: South Korea’s ‘Artificial Sun’ Sets New Fusion Record

The facility’s previous record, set in 2021, was just 30 seconds.

South Korean scientists have achieved a groundbreaking feat in nuclear fusion with their Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) device, often referred to as an “artificial Sun.” They managed to sustain plasma temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius for an impressive 48 seconds, surpassing their previous record set in 2021 by a significant margin. This temperature, seven times hotter than the core of the Sun, holds immense potential for the advancement of fusion energy technology. Director Si-Woo Yoon credits thorough preparation and hardware testing for this achievement, highlighting the challenges posed by the unstable nature of high-temperature plasma. The team aims to further extend this duration to 300 seconds by 2026, a significant milestone in the pursuit of sustainable fusion reactions. Utilizing tungsten diverters instead of carbon played a crucial role in extending plasma sustainability. This breakthrough not only aids in securing predicted performance in ITER operation but also accelerates the pathway towards commercializing fusion energy, offering a promising solution to the world’s energy needs while mitigating carbon emissions.

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