- The Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR), a superconducting fusion device also known as the Korean artificial sun, set the new world record as it succeeded in maintaining the high temperature plasma for 20 seconds with an ion temperature over 100 million degrees (Celsius).
KSTAR (Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research) by drone
The Race to Harness the Sun – Diplomatic Courrier, 12.19
- In October, the Department of Energy announced the creation of the Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE), a program which seeks to blaze the path towards commercial fusion by providing applicants with access to government laboratories, allowing them to conquer technological hurdles that previously inhibited them. Through the elimination of financial and infrastructural prerequisites, INFUSE signals a move towards a new dichotomy in which the innovation of the private sector is bolstered by public funding, allowing for exciting new ideas to shape our concept of a fusion-powered world. This sort of relationship additionally alleviates the massive levels of bloat and rigidity that have hindered government initiatives. If nuclear fusion is to become the panacea for Earth’s climate problems, programs like ITER and INFUSE that pool the sum of human knowledge should continue to be pursued.
Fusion in 30 years? ITER update  – 11.19
- It is the most powerful machine ever built by man, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, ITER, has reached yet another milestone on November 7, 2019. The concrete base which will house the reactor has been finished. Next step is to get the roof going and eventually the reactor itself. This is good news for all participating countries in this monumental task, paving the way for a future with clean and unlimited energy. The roadmap remains unchanged with its first test runs happening around 2025. Many consider ITER to be the last step in this experimental endeavor spanning back more than 60 years of research and development.
Chasing Unlimited Energy With the World’s Largest Fusion Reactor – BusinessWeek, 10.19
- The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, a fusion reactor under construction in southern France, is the world’s biggest scientific puzzle—and one of its biggest trade puzzles. (…)
- The project, which grew out of Cold War-era collaboration between the governments of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, was incorporated under a treaty signed in 2006 by China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the U.S. The agreement guarantees free passage of reactor materials and even distribution of intellectual property among the 35 parties. (Switzerland is also an ITER member via a cooperation agreement with the EU.) (…)
- Other efforts are under way to prove the viability of fusion power, but none is being conducted in quite the same spirit of collaboration. If ITER succeeds, it will provide a template for world powers to develop reactors of their own, and humankind could have limitless emissions-free power by midcentury. The project could become a symbol of international peace and stability—and a concrete means of achieving it.