China successfully powered up its “artificial sun” nuclear fusion reactor for the first time recently, marking a great advance in the country’s nuclear power research capabilities. The nuclear reactor is expected to provide clean energy.


  • 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.
  • HL-2M Tokamak device is used in it to replicate the nuclear fusion process that occurs naturally in the sun.
  • It uses a powerful magnetic field to fuse hot plasma and can reach temperatures of over 150 million degrees Celsius, approximately ten times hotter than the core of the sun.
  • Located in Sichuan province, the reactor is often called an “artificial sun” on account of the enormous heat and power it produces.


International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is a collaboration of 35 nations launched in 1985. It is located in France.


  1. It aims to build the world’s largest tokamak to prove the feasibility of fusion as a largescale and carbon-free source of energy.
  2. The tokamak is an experimental machine designed to harness the energy of fusion. Inside a tokamak, the energy produced through the fusion of atoms is absorbed as heat in the walls of the vessel. Like a conventional power plant, a fusion power plant uses this heat to produce steam and then electricity by way of turbines and generators.


A nuclear reaction is the process in which two nuclei, or a nucleus and an external subatomic particle, collide to produce one or more new nuclides.Thus, a nuclear reaction must cause a transformation of at least one nuclide to another.

Nuclear Fission:

  • The nucleus of an atom splits into two daughter nuclei.
  • This decay can be natural spontaneous splitting by radioactive decay, or can
  • actually be simulated in a lab by achieving necessary conditions (bombarding with neutrons, alpha particles, etc.).
  • The resulting fragments tend to have a combined mass which is less than the original.
  • The missing mass is usually converted into nuclear energy.
  • Currently all commercial nuclear reactors are based on nuclear fission.

Nuclear Fusion:

  • Nuclear Fusion is defined as the combining of two lighter nuclei into a heavier one.
  • Such nuclear fusion reactions are the source of energy in the Sun and other stars.
  • It takes considerable energy to force the nuclei to fuse. The conditions needed for this process are extreme millions of degrees of temperature and millions of pascals of pressure.
  • The hydrogen bomb is based on a thermonuclear fusion reaction. However, a nuclear bomb based on the fission of uranium or plutonium is placed at the core of the hydrogen bomb to provide initial energy.


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