China unveils experimental nuclear fusion device

China unveils experimental nuclear fusion device

China has shown foreign media an experimental nuclear fusion device, demonstrating its all-out efforts to develop a next-generation source of energy.

Foreign reporters were allowed to view the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak, or EAST, in Anhui Province on Thursday. The equipment is located at the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Nuclear fusion is regarded as a potentially promising way to generate energy, as it is easier to control than nuclear fission and produces minimal amounts of radioactive waste.

Chinese scientists say EAST is being used to explore ways to maintain plasma created at very high temperatures so that atoms can fuse and release enormous amounts of energy.

Japan, the United States and European countries are the frontrunners in nuclear fusion research.

Japan and the European Union are jointly building a larger device than EAST at a laboratory in Naka City, near Tokyo. They hope to begin operations next year.

China has put substantial investment into its own research, and is also taking part in international projects.
A senior scientist says China used to lag behind other countries, but the EAST research is now being accelerated thanks to the Chinese government's assistance.