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Everything we know about China’s ‘artificial sun’

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China’s ‘artificial sun’ broke clean energy records, as scientists tout nuclear fusion as the ‘ultimate energy’ for the future of humanity.

China’s nuclear fusion reactor has made headlines this month after producing an ‘artificial sun’ that was five times hotter than the real thing.

The device broke world records after sustaining a nuclear reaction at 70 million degrees Celsius (158 million degrees Fahrenheit) for more than 17 minutes, state media Xinhua reported.

The ‘artificial sun’ is a project dubbed the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), and is operated at a research facility in China’s Heifei city in Anhui Province.

Here’s what we know so far:

It’s not actually a ‘sun’ 

Unlike its name suggests, or fake Twitter videos would have you believe, EAST is not a floating sphere of light that was launched into the sky.

It is in fact a donut-shaped reactor chamber where heated-up plasma is trapped with a powerful magnetic field.

The goal of this ‘sun’ is not to supply light or heat, but instead an enormous amount of clean energy that researchers hope to harvest to power cities.

EAST gets its nickname ‘artificial sun’ because this process of energy-generation, known as nuclear fusion, replicates the sun’s physics.

The process uses atomic nuclei to generate large amounts of energy into electricity, by merging hydrogen atoms to create helium.

READ MORE: China switches on ‘artificial sun’ nuclear reactor

It’s smashing records

Before EAST, France’s Tore Supra tokamak held the world record for the longest plasma duration time of any tokamak reactor at 6.5 minutes in 2003.

South Korea’s Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) reactor set a world record in 2016 by maintaining 50 million degrees Celsius (90 million degrees Fahrenheit) for 70 seconds.

EAST broke KSTAR’s record in 2021 sustaining around 119 million degrees Celsius (216 million degrees Fahrenheit) for 102 seconds.

EAST also set another record in May last year by running for 101 seconds at an unprecedented 120 million degrees Celsius (216 million degrees Fahrenheit).

In contrast, the core of the actual sun is around 15 million degrees Celsius (27 million degrees Fahrenheit).

It’s expanding clean energy options

Nuclear fusion produces no greenhouse gases and leaves no radioactive waste.

Scientists at the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science touted the success of EAST in expanding the country’s clean energy options.

“As opposed to fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, which are in danger of being exhausted and pose a threat to the environment, raw materials required for the ‘artificial sun’ are almost unlimited on earth,” says researcher Gong Xianzu in a press release.

“Therefore, fusion energy is considered the ideal ‘ultimate energy’ for the future of humanity.”

READ MORE: The covert race for an artificial sun and unlimited energy

The ‘artificial sun’ is a project dubbed the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), and is operated at a research facility in China’s Heifei city in Anhui Province. (Getty Images)

It’s costly but worth it

EAST is estimated to cost China more than $1 trillion by the experiment’s end in June.

It’s part of a collaboration project based in France known as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) which is set to be the world’s largest nuclear reactor.

Alongside China, 35 countries are participating in the project including the entire European Union, the United Kingdom, India and the United States.

ITER contains the world’s most powerful magnet, able to produce a magnetic field 280,000 times stronger than Earth’s own field, according to Live Science.

The global fusion reactor is expected to run in 2025.

However, China isn’t stopping at EAST, the country is planning to complete a new Tokamak fusion device by the early 2030s.

READ MORE: Work begins to assemble France’s global nuclear fusion device

Source: TRT World

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England lifts COVID-19 pandemic restriction-Omicron marks end of the pandemic.

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England has lifted its restrictions implemented in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking at a press conference at Downing Street, Health Secretary Sajid Javad stated that the England will be lifting the restrictions implemented in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic but the legal requirement to self-isolate if tested positive for the virus will continue.

While Health Secretary Sajid Javad stated that it was a major milestone, he also stated that “It’s not the end of the road and we shouldn’t see this as the finish line because we cannot eradicate this virus and its future variants. Instead we must learn to live with Covid in the same way we have to live with flu”.

This has also meant that the work-from-home guidance would be ending with the majority of the nation’s workforce reverting to pre-pandemic work schedules. Additionally, students will also be no longer required to wear masks at schools.

Moreover, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also confirmed that the Government plans to end the legal requirement for positive cases to isolate by late March, but may move the date forward.

The U.S. has also hinted that the pandemic may be heading towards an end. Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci has stated that the Omicron variant may mark the end of the pandemic.

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New Japanese Ambassador Takeuchi Midori presents her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

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The new Japanese ambassador to the Maldives, Takeuchi Midori has presented her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Ambassador Takeuchi Midori presented her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at a special ceremony held earlier today at the President’s Office.

Speaking at the ceremony President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih noted on the Ambassador Takeuchi Midori’s predecessor Keiko Yanai’s work in enhancing bilateral relations between the two nations. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih expressed hope in continuing to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two nations under Ambassador Takeuchi Midori tenure.

Ambassador Takeuchi Midori also spoke at the ceremony, noting that this year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Maldives and Japan. She expressed hope that the two nations would work together on regional and global issues.

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China’s homemade C919 passenger plane to be delivered this year

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China’s self-developed C919 large passenger aircraft will be delivered within this year, The Paper reported on Wednesday, citing its developer.

Wu Yongliang, deputy general manager of the Shanghai-based Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), said the pandemic’s impact on the C919 project has been controllable, and the work is progressing in an orderly manner.

American aerospace manufacturer Boeing and France-based Airbus have long been the so-called duopoly in the commercial airline market worth trillions of U.S. dollars.

The C919, as part of China’s goal to develop homemade civil airplanes, is trying to rival with medium-range aircraft from the two global giants, such as Airbus’s A320 and Boeing’s 737 MAX.

C919 has 158 to 168 seats, a standard range of 4,075 kilometers and a maximum range of 5,555 kilometers. It had its successful maiden flight in 2017.

China Eastern Airlines, one of the country’s largest airlines also headquartered in Shanghai, signed a contract to buy five C919 jetliners from COMAC in March 2021.

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