Researchers achieve milestone in UK nuclear fusion: Researchers have tested a new nuclear fusion device and favourably generated plasma amid an experiment in Oxfordshire.
MAST Upgrade (MAST-U) at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire which is the £55 million spherical reactor, took seven years to build & will be the forerunner for what is believed to be the UK’s first nuclear fusion power plant. This is anticipated to be completed by 2040.
Fusion is the process that powers the sun and the stars. It works by joining light elements into heavier ones & releasing energy.
Scientists claim that if they could recreate this method on Earth, this could produce limitless electricity without generating greenhouse gases.
To conduct fusion experiments on Earth, scientists need to bring a gas to extreme temperatures just before it is turned to plasma.
Plasma consists of a partially-ionised gas, electrons, ions, & neutral atoms. Some electrons, in a plasma, are freed from their atoms, and this allows current & electricity to flow.
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma noted via Twitter: “The UK is set to build its first power plant by 2040 and first plasma is a milestone moment for UK Atomic Energy Authority Mast Upgrade Device.
“Backed by £55 million government funding, MAST-U supports our aims to bring fusion to the power grid and provide low carbon energy for years to come.”
The MAST-U is also anticipated to support developments for ITER, which is believed to be the world’s largest science megaproject, which intends to demonstrate fusion power on an industrial scale and is currently being built in the South of France.
Researchers achieve milestone in UK nuclear fusion