Artificial Sun: How new record in nuclear fusion energy created?
Signalling a major step towards virtually unlimited production of low-carbon, low-radiation energy, scientists at the Joint European Torus (JET) in central England said the facility smashed its own
Signalling a major step towards virtually unlimited production of low-carbon, low-radiation energy, scientists at the Joint European Torus (JET) in central England said the facility smashed its own record for the amount of energy produced through nuclear fusion which is achieved by squeezing together two forms of hydrogen -- deuterium and tritium. The sun generates energy from the same process.
The experiments, conducted in a machine called tokamak, produced 11 MW of power, double of what was achieved in 1997, in over five seconds. Dr. Joe Milnes, head of operations at the reactor lab, said the creation of a mini-star inside machines is a significant achievement, "which really takes us into a new realm." The success of the experiments validates design choices that are being made for an even bigger fusion reactor -- ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) -- in France. It is supported by the US, Russia, China and member states of the European Union. If ITER succeeds in its objectives, nuclear fusion can become a reliable energy provider in the second half of this century.
The violence unleashed by a tsunami set off by the eruption of the undersea volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haa'pai in the South Pacific on January 15, is forcing the scientific community to assess afresh the risk factors. India with a coastline of 7, 516 km, including the Andamans, is particularly vulnerable. Climate-linked changes in the upper layer of the earth known as crust, can exacerbate the threat and there are five ways this can happen, says Jane Cunnen, a researcher from Curtin University, Australia.