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“This is the jewel in the crown of science and technology in today’s world.” China is building the world’s first hybrid fusion reactor

Russia sent the first gyrotron complexes for the ITER fusion reactor

The Chinese government has approved the construction of the world’s largest fusion-ignited hybrid pulsed fusion power plant, to be launched by 2028.

“Fusion ignition is the jewel in the crown of science and technology in today’s world,” said Peng Xianjue, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics.

The Z-FFR facility will use a thermonuclear reaction to generate a cloud of fast neutrons, the main task of which will be to start a conventional fission reaction of nuclear fuel. This will make it possible to use as fuel waste uranium fuel from modern nuclear power plants and thorium, of which there are a lot of accumulated.

According to Peng Xianjue, the plant will produce a current of 50 million A – about twice as much as the record-breaking power plant at the Sandia National Laboratory in the United States.

Nuclear powers such as the US, Russia and China have built a number of such machines over the past few decades (some of them officially undisclosed) to simulate the extreme conditions required to develop nuclear weapons. These objects can store vast amounts of electricity and release it in just a few nanoseconds. An electrical impulse can create extreme pressure and radiation, enough for two light atoms to “merge” into a heavier one and give up some mass in the form of energy. But building a machine that can produce more fusion power than it consumes is extremely difficult, and so far no country has been successful.

As planned by the creators, the hybrid installation will be the world’s first practical application of a thermonuclear reaction to generate energy. When implementing this project, a lot of technological problems will have to be solved, including the creation of super-capacitive and super-reliable supercapacitors, conductors that can withstand exorbitant currents, and laser switches for instantaneous switching of energy supply channels. And even if the stated goals are not achieved on time, the project will become a colossal laboratory stand for many innovative tests.

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