HEFEI, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- A new mode of improved plasma confinement was discovered and demonstrated at the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province.
The findings were published in the latest issue of Science Advances on Saturday.
An abundant, safe, and environmentally competitive energy such as nuclear-fusion mastering is a great challenge for humanity. Tokamak represents one of the most promising paths toward controlled fusion. However, obtaining a high-performance, steady-state, and long-pulse plasma regime remains a critical issue to ensure the feasibility of fusion reactors.
At the end of 2021, a steady-state plasma was successfully maintained for a world-record length of 1,056 seconds on the EAST device. The machine and its subsystems were reliable and operated safely, owing to the integration of real-time controls and careful prior preparation. The discovery was made during that campaign.
The new high-confinement and self-organizing mechanism not only demonstrates the reliability and advancement of the machine itself but also offers insights into how to stably maintain plasma operation for a long duration, according to the research team from the Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
These achievements contribute to the integration of fusion plasma technology and physics, essential to operating next-step fusion devices.