Written by Madhav Bahl, a grade 8 student
The artificial sun is not actually a sun but a nuclear fusion reactor – it is called artificial sun because of the large amount of heat and power it emanates.
It is located in the Sichuan Province of China and was completed in late 2019.
How does it work?
It’s all about creating power – which is generated in the reactor by applying powerful magnetic fields to hot plasma. The plasma can reach temperatures of more than 150 million centigrade. This can help get a lot of energy for our use. It is approximately ten times hotter than the core of the sun.
What’s its importance?
Over the last few years, we have been talking a lot about the environment. There have been various schemes that have been implemented for a clean and green environment. Motorsports like Formula 1 have formed side projects like Formula E to test how substitute fuels will work in races that are popular throughout the world.
Dalai Lama had said positive thoughts and changes in the morning will lead to a better day. Well in this case it is a little different. Our morning represents our present and our day ahead is the future of the world. Every alternate week a Formula Grand Prix is held and each Grand Prix leads to a release of 15,000 kg of carbon dioxide. This is nine times more than the average emission of our normal petrol cars. In 2018, CO₂ emissions totalled 747 million tonnes for passenger transport, for 8.5 trillion revenue passenger kilometers giving an average of 88-gram CO₂ per RPK.
So, to further survive and to have the same nature for our future generations we need to change. Over the years we have tried various fuels also like CNG as an alternative but it has not helped us. Since CNG was introduced in the capital city of Delhi there have been various bad effects like the disappearance of some migratory birds which were common during the winter months.
Birds like the Siberian crane have not been coming to Delhi for the past 15 to 20 years. Other problems with CNG are that it is not widely available, it has less long-term reliability, and lower tank filling capacity. To add it also disrupts signal lines as it contains carbon nanoparticles. These are the various tries made by us to move to cleaner energy but they have never cemented. Then out of the blue comes a solution a big one – an artificial sun.
It could be used to supply energy in a clean way and steps are being made to see its efficacy and see if it is harmful or not as at the end of the day it is made from nuclear power
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