The Korea Institute of Fusion Energy has set a new record by running at one million degrees and maintaining super-hot plasma for 30 seconds, beating its own previous record by 10 seconds.
The idea behind fusion power is to recreate the processes that take place inside the Sun. Huge gravitational forces combine with intense heat and pressure to produce a plasma, in which nuclei smash into each other at high velocity to form helium and release energy.
Tokamaks are designed to recreate this process here on Earth with a series of coils placed around a torus-shaped reactor, magnetically confining plasma heated to millions of degrees for long enough for the fusion of nuclei to occur.
Construction was completed on the device in 2007 and it then generated its first plasma in 2008. In 2016, KSTAR claimed a world record by maintaining plasma heated to 50 million °C (90 million °F) for 70 seconds, which was outdone by China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) with a 102-second effort in 2017.
This performance boost is said to be the result of further optimized magnetic field conditions and heating systems. The magazine reports that the team is is aiming to sustain the plasma for 300 seconds in 2026 through upgrades to the power source and through a tungsten diverter that will prevent a rise in temperature in the inner walls of the chamber.
According to newatlas