Chinese researchers have managed a breakthrough in the pursuit of fusion power – that promise of cheap, near unlimited and non polluting energy. This means that proper commercial reactors might only be as near as only 50 years away*.
China has claimed a breakthrough in the race to develop cheap, clean energy through nuclear fusion, a dream of scientists for decades.
The potential of the reaction that occurs in the sun has long been recognised by researchers but they have struggled to recreate the process without putting in more energy than was released.
Yes, OK, that’s the task. But?
And it looks like China is racing into the lead with its groundbreaking reactor, having reached a major milestone this week. According to the Daily Mail, the machine hit 180 million F (100 million C) for the first time, which is believed to be the temperature at which nuclear fusion occurs.
Although it’s meant to replicate the sun, this temperature makes it six times hotter than the core of the burning star, which peaks at around 27 million F (15 million C).
Excellent news, eh? Commercial fusion power is only 5 decades away.**
*Yes, we know the joke, that’s the point.
**Yes, really, we know.