Artificial Sun Produced Heat of 100 Million Celsius for a Record Period


  • South Korean scientists have been able to produce heat of 100 million Celsius for a record period of 48 seconds through the Artificial Sun.


  • The Korea Institute of Fusion Energy’s (KFE) Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) fusion reactor reached temperatures seven times that of the Sun’s core.
  • The temperature of the core of the Sun is 15 million degrees Celsius.

Artificial Sun

  • It is a nuclear fusion reactor facility, and it is called an “artificial sun” because it mimics the nuclear fusion reaction that powers the real sun – which uses hydrogen and deuterium gases as fuel.
  • Scientists generally use a donut-shaped reactor called a tokamak in which hydrogen variants are heated to extraordinarily high temperatures to create a plasma.

What is Nuclear Fusion?

  • Nuclear fusion is the process by which two light atomic nuclei combine to form a single heavier one while releasing massive amounts of energy.
  • Fusion reactions take place in a state of matter called plasma — a hot, charged gas made of positive ions and free-moving electrons with unique properties distinct from solids, liquids, or gases.
  • The sun, along with all other stars, is powered by this reaction.
  • Process: The Deuterium (H-2) and Tritium (H-3) atoms are combined to form Helium (He-4). A free and fast neutron is also released as a result.
  • The neutron is powered by the kinetic energy converted from the ‘extra’ mass left over after the combination of lighter nuclei of deuterium and tritium occurs.

Significance of Fusion energy?

  • Clean Energy: Nuclear fusion — just like fission — does not emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, so it could be a long-term source of low-carbon electricity from the second half of this century onwards.
  • More Efficient: Fusion could generate four times more energy per kilogram of fuel than fission (used in nuclear power plants) and nearly four million times more energy than burning oil or coal.
  • Fusion fuel is plentiful and easily accessible: Deuterium can be extracted inexpensively from seawater, and tritium can potentially be produced from the reaction of fusion-generated neutrons with naturally abundant lithium.
  • These fuel supplies would last for millions of years.
  • Safer to Use: Future fusion reactors are also intrinsically safe and are not expected to produce high activity or long-lived nuclear waste.
  • Furthermore, as the fusion process is difficult to start and maintain, there is no risk of a runaway reaction and meltdown.