Kautilya Academy 09-12-2020
The HL-2M Tokamak reactor is China’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion experimental device. Located in southwestern Sichuan province, the reactor is often called an “artificial sun” because of the enormous heat and power it produces. It was completed last year and it has the potential to unlock a powerful clean energy source. China has successfully powered up this reactor for the first time, marking the advances made in the nuclear power research capability.
The reactor uses a powerful magnetic field to fuse hot plasma. The reactor can reach temperatures of 150 million degrees Celsius. The fusion reactions require sufficient temperature and pressure, a confined environment to create a plasma where the fusion can occur.
China has been developing nuclear fusion energy to solve its strategic energy needs. Also, the aim of developing nuclear fusion energy is to sustain the energy needs of China. China is also collaborating with the International thermonuclear experimental reactor.
It is the world's largest nuclear fusion research project. It is based in France and is expected to be completed in 2025. The members of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project are India, China, the European Union, Japan, Korea, the United States, and Russia. It is the first fusion device to test the nuclear fusion reactions for the commercial production of electricity. It uses the same principle as that used to power the stars and the sun. It is a carbon-free source of energy.
Nuclear fusion reaction emits no greenhouse gases like that of the fission reactions. The nuclear fusion reactions carry lesser risks of accidents. However, achieving a fusion reaction is extremely difficult and expensive.
In a nuclear fusion reaction, two atomic nuclei are combined or fused to form one different atomic nucleus. During the process, enormous heat is generated which is used to generate electricity. Radioactivity in operation in case of fusion reactions is much lesser than that of the fission reaction.