New Upgrades to South Korea’s KSTAR Fusion Device Extend Operating Time

South Korea’s KSTAR fusion device, also known as the artificial sun, has recently undergone upgrades that will significantly extend its operating time, allowing it to run high-temperature plasma for longer periods. The Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE) announced the successful installation of a new tungsten divertor, a crucial component that manages waste gas exhaust and endures high surface heat loads.

The new divertor, made of tungsten, replaces the previous carbon divertor and significantly improves heat resistance. Tungsten has a high melting point and low sputtering characteristics, making it capable of withstanding extreme temperatures. The development of the tungsten divertor began in 2018, with the first prototype completed in 2021. Installation was initiated in September 2022.

KFE views these upgrades as a significant step forward in the pursuit of commercializing nuclear fusion as a clean and sustainable energy source. By allowing KSTAR to reach temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius for 30 seconds, valuable data will be obtained for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) program.

The ITER program aims to construct a larger magnetic fusion reactor in southern France. Dr. Suk Jae Yoo, President of KFE, emphasized that the implementation of the tungsten divertor on KSTAR operating at higher temperatures will provide vital information for the future success of the ITER project.

Looking ahead, KFE envisions achieving high-performance plasma operation for 300 seconds by the end of 2026 with the new divertor. These advancements in fusion technology bring us closer to realizing the immense potential of nuclear fusion as a reliable and abundant source of energy. By pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge, South Korea’s KSTAR and the international fusion research community are paving the way for a cleaner and brighter future.

FAQ: South Korea’s KSTAR Fusion Device Upgrades

1. What is the KSTAR fusion device?

The KSTAR fusion device, also known as the artificial sun, is a project by the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE) in South Korea. It aims to develop nuclear fusion technology as a clean and sustainable energy source.

2. What recent upgrades has the KSTAR fusion device undergone?

The KSTAR fusion device has recently undergone upgrades, including the installation of a new tungsten divertor. The divertor is a crucial component that manages waste gas exhaust and endures high surface heat loads.

3. How does the tungsten divertor improve the KSTAR fusion device?

The new tungsten divertor replaces the previous carbon divertor and significantly improves heat resistance. Tungsten has a high melting point and low sputtering characteristics, enabling it to withstand extreme temperatures.

4. When did the development and installation of the tungsten divertor take place?

The development of the tungsten divertor began in 2018, and the first prototype was completed in 2021. The installation of the divertor was initiated in September 2022.

5. What is the purpose of the KSTAR fusion device upgrades?

The upgrades to the KSTAR fusion device allow it to run high-temperature plasma for longer periods. By reaching temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius for 30 seconds, valuable data will be obtained for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) program.

6. What is the ITER program?

The ITER program aims to construct a larger magnetic fusion reactor in southern France. It is an international collaborative project that seeks to achieve practical fusion power.

7. How does the tungsten divertor contribute to the success of the ITER project?

The implementation of the tungsten divertor on the KSTAR fusion device operating at higher temperatures will provide vital information for the future success of the ITER project. It helps in advancing the understanding of fusion technology and optimizing its performance.

8. What are the future goals for the KSTAR fusion device?

The Korea Institute of Fusion Energy envisions achieving high-performance plasma operation for 300 seconds by the end of 2026 with the new divertor. These advancements in fusion technology bring us closer to realizing the immense potential of nuclear fusion as a reliable and abundant source of energy.

Related Links:
– Korea Institute of Fusion Energy
– International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)

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