China turns on ‘artificial sun’

China successfully powered up its “artificial sun” nuclear fusion reactor for the first time, state media reported on Friday, marking a great advance in the country’s nuclear power research capabilities.

The HL-2M Tokamak reactor is China’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device, and scientists hope that the device can potentially unlock a powerful clean energy source.

It uses a powerful magnetic field to fuse hot plasma and can reach temperatures of over 150 million degrees Celsius, according to the People’s Daily — approximately ten times hotter than the core of the sun.

Located in Sichuan province and completed late last year, the reactor is often called an “artificial sun” on account of the enormous heat and power it produces.

Chinese scientists have been working on developing smaller versions of the nuclear fusion reactor since 2006.

China turns on ‘artificial sun’