China makes new breakthrough in "artificial sun" project

Updated: 2022-10-27

The new generation of China's "artificial sun", the HL-2M tokamak, set a new operation record with its plasma current exceeding 1 million amperes (one megampere) on Oct 19, marking a major step toward fusion ignition.


Independently designed and built by the Southwestern Institute of Physics under the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the tokamak went into operation and achieved its first plasma discharge on Dec 4, 2020.

The plasma current intensity is a key parameter of a tokamak. Right now, China's HL-2M tokamak boasts a plasma current intensity of over 2.5 megamperes and has run smoothly under conditions of more than 1 megampere by volume.

The latest breakthrough is of great significance for China to take part in the experimental activities of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) and for its independent design and operation of thermonuclear reactors.