Artificial sun KSTAR maintains 100 million degrees for 30 seconds
Fusion energy is clean energy that generates through fusion reactions, which is the principle of solar energy. The goal of KSTAR and nuclear fusion research is to artificially implement this principle on Earth to create energy such as electricity. Recently, nuclear fusion research has been conducted in South Korea, the United States, the European Union (EU), Russia, and China.
The reason why many countries are doing this is that there are great advantages in nuclear fusion power generation. Deuterium and lithium extracted from virtually infinite seawater source are used as the main ingredients, and high-level radioactive waste is not produced. In particular, the amount of energy that can be produced is very large, and 1g of fuel is equivalent to 8 tons of oil. In addition, waste is generated during power generation, but it can be sent back to its natural state after decades of storage. Also, there is no carbon dioxide, the main culprit of greenhouse gases.
Unlike the sun, where nuclear fusion reactions naturally occur in ultra-high temperatures and high-density environments, the earth must put fuel in nuclear fusion devices, create plasma conditions where ions and electrons are separated, and heat and maintain them at ultra-high temperatures of more than 100 million degrees. KSTAR is a superconducting nuclear fusion research device completed with Korean technology and Korea has been conducting research since 2008 to secure technology to maintain ultra-high temperature plasma, which is the core of nuclear fusion energy. In order to operate a nuclear fusion power plant, 100 seconds operation is the minimum standard. Researchers in Korea implemented the artificial sun in a research device and drove for 30 seconds.
This achievement is the result of improved stability in the Internal Transport Barrier (ITB) mode, the next generation of driving modes for nuclear fusion. KSTAR is planning to install tungsten divertors to improve power supplies and suppress rising inner wall temperatures to extend operating hours. Through related research such as securing real-time feedback control technology to maintain stability in higher ITB mode, the company plans to achieve 300 seconds of maintaining ultra-high temperature plasma at 100 million degrees by 2026.
<저작권자 ⓒ 먼데이타임스 무단전재 및 재배포 금지>
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