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The Asian country’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor in Hefei broke a new record in fusion technology as it reached temperatures six times higher than the sun. Nuclear fusion is a staggering technical innovation in which hydrogen from sea water and readily available lithium is heated to more than 150 million°C. Atomic nuclei begin to fuse together releasing huge amounts of energy but without the massive amount of deadly radiation which our existing nuclear fission reactors create.

Nuclear fusion is the process which powers the sun.

However, for a sustainable nuclear fusion energy source, temperatures will need to reach seven times as hot as the sun (15 million degrees Celsius) in the reactors on Earth.

Associate professor Matthew Hole from the Australian National University told ABC: "It's certainly a significant step for China's nuclear fusion program and an important development for the whole world.

"The benefit is simple in that it is very large-scale base load [continuous] energy production, with zero greenhouse gas emissions and no long-life radioactive waste.

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Category: Science