International Experts Gather in Hefei for Fusion Research and Clean Energy Future
"China is making remarkable progress in fusion research and the clean energy future calls on more international cooperation, several global fusion energy," according to experts who attended the The 10th International Advisory Committee Meeting of EAST (the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak) on Wednesday in Hefei, Anhui Province.
Over the course of three days, from Dec. 5 to Dec. 7, more than 20 authoritative global experts from prominent international fusion experimental facilities and fusion research institutions convened in Hefei City. The purpose is to discuss the advancements and prospects of magnetic confinement fusion research in China.
Located in the northwest suburbs of Hefei City, EAST is also known as the "Chinese artificial sun." Setting many world records in the field of nuclear fusion energy research, the facility is of great significance to improve the economy and feasibility of nuclear fusion energy, which is considered safer and cleaner, and therefore the ideal "ultimate energy" for the future of humanity.
"China now is recognized as a major international player in fusion energy," said Mohamed Abdou, Distinguished Professor at UCLA, adding that EAST is a famous facility contributing to global research programs, and China has also contributed to the international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject ITER in southern France.
According to the Institute of Plasma Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP), home to EAST, the institute has established stable cooperation relationships with more than 120 scientific research institutions from over 50 countries. More than half of EAST’s annual experimental proposals come from its European and American partners.
Tony Donné, Programme Manager at EUROfusion, said that even though China has only entered the field of fusion research more recently compared with Europe, the United States and Russia, he is impressed by the speed and the dedication of the Chinese program.
"China is really giving an example to the rest of the world," said Donné.
During the three-day meeting, international experts sorted out the innovative work of the EAST team, and conducted a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of aspects such as experimental operation, device upgrades, international cooperation, and talent training.
Donné pointed out that Europe and China have many commonalities, with Europe promoting the DEMOnstration power plant, ITER's successor, and China working on the construction of the future China Fusion Engineering Test Reactor (CFETR).
"In some areas, we have very intense collaborations where we have weekly progress meetings with China," said Donné.
China’s increased international cooperation in fusion research has also presented new opportunities for countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Adel Trabelsi, Director General of the Tunisian National Center for Nuclear science and Technology, emphasized the significance of ASIPP's hosting of students from Tunisia and other African countries. This exchange is crucial for the advancement and peaceful application of fusion technology.
"We can only make fusion work if we work together," said Donné.