Chinese scientists on Thursday claimed a breakthrough in conducting the first test of an experimental thermonuclear fusion reactor that could provide the country with clean and endless source of energy.
The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) fusion device nicknamed "artificial sun" was tested at the Institute of Plasma Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Hefei, capital of eastern Anhui Province.
During the experiment, deuterium and tritium atoms were forced together at a temperature of 100 million Celsius.
"At that temperature, the super heated plasma, which is neither a gas, a liquid nor a solid, should begin to give off its own energy," scientists explained.
The first tests lasted nearly three seconds, and generated an electrical current of 200 kilo amperes, general manager of EAST, Wan Yuanxi said.
The device is planned to eventually create a plasma lasting 1,000 consecutive seconds, the longest a fusion reactor has ever run, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Director of the Institute of Plasma Physics, Li Jiangang said the results of the test met the expectations of scientists and signified a great breakthrough in the research of thermonuclear fusion. "That means we lead all our competitors by at least a decade," said Li.
"The breakthrough will make it possible for mankind to harness a safe, clean and endless source of energy."
The data of the test will be submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference in Austria.