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Another Record Achieved by China’s ‘Artificial Sun’ Program

July 5, 2017 (EIRNS)—"China Makes Key Breakthrough In Artificial Sun Research," Xinhua reported today, on the announcement by scientists from its EAST tokamak program that they had set another world record for fusion energy research by achieving a fusion plasma pulse lasting for 101.2 seconds in the steady-state, high-confinement plasma known as the "steady state H-mode operation." The report came from scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Hefei Institute of Physical Science, which operates the EAST.

While officially named the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), Chinese media refer to the tokamak by its more poetic nickname, the "artificial sun."

The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s EurekAlert! reported today that EAST’s Chief Operator, Gong Xianzu, "shared the good news and his excitement with some EAST partners at home and abroad at midnight via social media." Gong said the breakthrough indicates that EAST will

"continue to play a key role on both the physics and engineering fronts of steady-state operation, and has significant scientific implications for the International Thermonuclear Fusion Reactor (ITER) and the future China Fusion Engineering Test Reactor (CFETR).

"It is a success based on joint efforts,"

said Gong.

China, which is the only nation in the world which is increasing its budget for fusion research, including it under the rubric of national science and technology development for energy, has welcomed international participation in its EAST program. Among the 100-plus foreign participants in numerous of its experiments in recent years, are scientists from the fusion team at General Atomics in California.