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The UK Just Switched on an Ambitious Fusion Reactor – and It Works

The newest fusion reactor in the United Kingdom went live last week, and has already produced promising results – as it’s already achieved “first plasma.”

At 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million Fahrenheit) plasma is hot enough to force hydrogen to fuse into helium, releasing unlimited clean energy in the process. 

Of course, that temperature is also seven times hotter than the center of the sun. Tokamak Energy, however, believes they can be there by 2018.

“Today is an important day for fusion energy development in the UK, and the world,” said David Kingham, CEO of Tokamak Energy, the company behind ST40.

Nuclear fusion is what fuels the sun, and would produce unlimited clean energy if achieved here on earth. Unlike nuclear fission, the process used in current nuclear reactors, fusion fuses atoms together, rather than splitting them, and requires little more than salt, water, and heat. The primary waste product is helium.

Scientists have yet to achieve meaningful nuclear fusion, however, because of the insanely high temperatures required for the process.

The new Tokamak plasma is a big step forward.

In 2018, the team hopes to achieve the fusion threshold of 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million degrees Fahrenheit), and the ultimate goal is to provide clean fusion power to the UK grid by 2030.

Whether or not they’ll be able to pull off the feat remains to be seen.

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The UK Just Switched on an Ambitious Fusion Reactor – and It Works The UK Just Switched on an Ambitious Fusion Reactor - and It Works Reviewed by matt on 00:31:00 Rating: 5