Japan has renovated a facility to support the construction of an even larger fusion power plant test reactor in Europe. Nuclear fusion power is advancing slowly, with the goal of revolutionizing the world’s energy production.
The largest fusion power plant in the world, the Naka experimental power plant, was put into use in Japan at the beginning of December. The reactor is over fifteen meters high and has a ring-shaped interior space with a vacuum. The reactor aims to control plasma, which is hotter than the core of the Sun.
The reactor, known as JT-60SA, produced plasma for ten seconds and aims to eventually control plasma for about a hundred seconds. It is an experimental plant, with the ultimate goal of controlling it in a safe and controlled manner.
This type of fusion reactor can generate incredible amounts of heat and requires powerful magnets to keep the plasma under control without touching the walls of the chamber. In theory, the reactor uses two isotopes of hydrogen: ordinary hydrogen and deuterium. However, the most effective fusion would be achieved with tritium, the rarest of the isotopes.
The new reactor is a joint project between Japan and the European Union and is supported by a larger plant to be built in southern France. The plant, known as Iter, is aimed at producing ten times the amount of energy needed to start the fusion.
Overall, fusion power plants are still in the experimental stage, with the ultimate goal of generating electricity. The project has been delayed and the budget has increased, causing some uncertainty about when these plants will become operational. However, it is hoped that advancements in nuclear fusion power will bring about a new era of energy production in the future.