China switches on nuclear-powered ‘artificial sun’
The reactor has been designed to use a powerful magnetic field to fuse hot plasma at temperatures of 150 million C – more than 10 times hotter than the sun’s core.
Based in Chengdu, Sichuan province, the reactor was finished last year after Chinese scientists started developing it in 2006.
The new reactor will also support to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the world’s largest reactor being built in France, state media reports.
China, five other countries and the European Union, are involved in the project.
The reactors aim to replicate the science of stars by merging atomic nuclei, releasing huge amounts of energy which can be regulated and ultimately converted to electricity.
But developing fusion is extremely expensive. Cost of the ITER project are estimated to be from A$30 billion to A$88 billion, making it the world’s most costly scientific project.