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China turns on its ‘artificial sun’ in quest for nuclear fusion energy

China on Friday made another step forward in its quest for clean energy through controlled nuclear fusion, as it commissioned its new “artificial sun” – a new generation nuclear fusion reactor research facility which operates at a temperature 10 times as hot as the sun.

According to China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the HL-2M Tokamak apparatus is able to operate at 150 million degrees Celsius – almost three times hotter than the previous version called HL-2A.

The ability to generate such ultra-high temperature is essential for the research of fusion process, replicating the way the sun produces energy using hydrogen and deuterium gases as fuels. The sun only operates at a temperature of 15 million degrees Celsius.

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