An Artificial Sun: China’s Clean, Limitless Energy Experiment

It’s no secret that China has some of the worst environmental pollution and living conditions in the world.

Overpopulation, factory pollution and generally no environmental precautions add to smog, wind-born pollution and breathing problems which are impacting many of China’s citizens. 

Scientists are looking for another way to produce energy that burns clean and is limitless. Enter the “artificial sun.”

Despite its name, it isn’t really a sun at all (obviously), but a ground-breaking fusion reactor built by Chinese scientists using clean energy technology.

With a goal of completing a fully-functioning plant by 2050, the artificial sun might just change the way energy is produced and consumed for many Chinese.

The reactor got its name from the sheer heat and power it produces within the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) on the Anhui province.

In fact, last November, the reactor became the first facility in the world to generate 100 million degrees Celsius, which is six times as hot as the core of the sun.

In order to achieve sustainable nuclear fusion reactions (which promise an inexhaustible energy source), such extreme heat is needed.

EAST’s main reactor is embedded within a concrete structure, with pipes and cables off shooting, a Chinese flag on top.

A top project official, Song Yuntao, noted while giving a tour that “We are hoping to expand international cooperation through this device (EAST) and make Chinese contributions to mankind’s future use of nuclear fusion.”

In the future, China aims to build separate fusion reactors that could generate commercially viable fusion power by 2050 as well.

The “artificial sun” is a big deal, as it would usher in a new era of clean energy — a so-called Chinese “Green New Deal.” Unlike nuclear fission, fusion reactions emit no greenhouse gases and has less risk.