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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

SK’s "Artificial Sun" To Burn At 100-M Celsius For 30 Seconds

South Korea's superconducting fusion device, KSTAR, has been upgraded to allow it to run for longer periods.


The new capabilities could lead to pioneering research results for commercializing nuclear fusion as an energy source. I Photo: Michel Maccagnan Wikimedia Commons



The Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE) said Friday it had installed a new tungsten divertor for its magnetic fusion device which will allow it to run high-temperature plasma at more than 100 million degrees Celsius for 30 seconds, according to Ehren Wynder's report for United Press International (UPI).



The new capabilities could lead to pioneering research results for commercializing nuclear fusion as an energy source, KFE said.


The institute also is leading a joint effort to accelerate the development of nuclear fusion energy with the ITER program. ITER is a project to construct a much larger magnetic fusion reactor in southern France.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

KFE President Dr. Suk Jae Yoo said the implementation of a tungsten divertor to operate KSTAR at higher temperatures will produce vital data for the ITER program.


A divertor is a crucial component that manages the exhaust of waste gas and impurities from the reactor while enduring the highest surface heat loads. KSTAR once had a carbon divertor that was less heat resistant than the tungsten divertor it now uses.


Science & technology: Scientist using a microscope in laboratory in the financial district.

The development of the divertor began in 2018. The first prototype was completed in 2021, and installation began in September 2022.


Tungsten has a high melting point and low sputtering characteristics, which means the heat resistance has improved over two-fold, according to KFE. KFE said that, with the new divertor, it hopes to achieve high-performance plasma operation for 300 seconds by the end of 2026.




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