Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak

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Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak
EAST Reactor Photo.jpg
Type Tokamak
Operation date 2006–
Major radius 1.85 m
Minor Radius 0.45 m
Magnetic field 3.5 T
Heating 7.5 MW
Plasma current 1.0 MA
Location Hefei, China
Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak
Chinese 先进超导托卡马克实验装置
Hanyu Pinyin xiānjìn chāodǎo tuōkǎmǎkè shíyàn zhuāngzhì
Literal meaning Advanced Superconducting Tokamak Experimental device

The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), internal designation HT-7U) is an experimental superconducting tokamak magnetic fusion energy reactor in Hefei, China. The Hefei-based Institute of Plasma Physics is conducting the experiment for the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It has operated since 2006. It was later put under control of Hefei Institutes of Physical Science.

It is the first tokamak to employ superconducting toroidal and poloidal magnets. It aims for plasma pulses of up to 1000 seconds.


The project was proposed in 1996 and approved in 1998. According to a 2003 schedule,[1] buildings and site facilities were to be constructed by 2003. Tokamak assembly was to take place from 2003 through 2005.

Construction was completed in March 2006 and on September 28, 2006, "first plasma" was achieved.

The reactor is an improvement over China's first superconducting tokamak device, dubbed HT-7, built by the Institute of Plasma Physics in partnership with Russia in the early 1990s.

According to official reports, the project's budget is CNY ¥300 million (approx. USD $37 million), some 1/15 to 1/20 the cost of a comparable reactor built in other countries.[2]

Operations and results

Phase I

On September 28, 2006, first plasma was achieved--the first test lasted nearly three seconds, and generated an electrical current of 200 kiloamperes. [3]

By Jan 2007 "the reactor created a plasma lasting nearly five seconds and generating an electrical current of 500 kilo amperes".[4]

On November 7, 2010, EAST achieved its first H-mode plasma by LHW alone.

In May 2011, EAST became the first tokamak to successfully sustain H-Mode plasma for over 30 seconds at ~50 million Kelvin.

Phase II

On November 29, 2011, The ribbon-cutting ceremony for EAST auxiliary heating system project was held, signifying EAST's entering of “Phase-II”.

On May 19, 2014, after nearly 20-month-long upgrading break since September 2012, EAST was ready for the first round of experiment campaign in 2014.

By May 2015, EAST was reporting 1 MA currents, and H-mode for 6.4 seconds.[5]

In February, 2016, a plasma pulse was maintained for a record 102 seconds at ~50 million Kelvin.[6] Plasma current of 400kA and a density of about 2.4 x 1019/m3 with slowly increasing temperature.[6]

On November 2, 2016, EAST became the first tokamak to successfully sustain H-Mode plasma for over a minute at ~50 million Kelvin.[7]

On July 3, 2017, EAST became the first tokamak to successfully sustain H-Mode plasma for over 100 seconds at ~50 million Kelvin.[8]

Physics objectives

China is a member of the ITER consortium, and EAST is a testbed for ITER technologies.

EAST was designed to test:

  • Superconducting Niobium-titanium poloidal field magnets, making it the first tokamak with superconducting toroidal and poloidal magnets
  • Non-inductive current drive
  • Pulses of up to 102 seconds with 0.5 MA plasma current
  • Schemes for controlling plasma instabilities through real-time diagnostics
  • Materials for diverters and plasma facing components
  • Operation with βN = 2 and confinement factor H89 > 2

Tokamak parameters

Tokamak parameters[9]
Toroidal field, Bt 3.5 T
Plasma current, IP 1.0 MA
Major radius, R0 1.85 m
Minor radius, a 0.45 m
Aspect ratio, R/a 4.11
Elongation, κ 1.6–2
Triangularity, δ 0.6–0.8  
Ion cyclotron resonance heating (ICRH) 3 MW
Lower hybrid current drive (LHCD) 4 MW
Electron cyclotron resonance heating (ECRH) None currently (0.5 MW planned)
Neutral beam injection (NBI) None currently (planned)
Pulse length 1–1000 s
Configuration Double-null divertor
Pump limiter
Single null divertor

See also


  1. ^ Project/6.doc[dead link]
  2. ^ "China to build world's first "artificial sun" experimental device". People's Daily Online. 2006-01-21.
  3. ^ "China's New Thermonuclear Fusion Reactor Test Successful". China.org.net. September 29, 2006.
  4. ^ Xinhua article Jan 15, 2007 Chinese scientists conduct more tests on thermonuclear fusion reactor. 2007-Jan-15
  5. ^ EAST at IPP-CAS
  6. ^ a b "That's cute, Germany – China shows the world how fusion is done". The Register. February 6, 2016. more data in screen shot
  7. ^ "EAST Achieves Longest Steady-state H-mode Operations". EAST team. November 15, 2016.
  8. ^ "China's 'artificial sun' sets world record with 100s steady-state high performance plasma". Chinese Academy of Sciences. July 5, 2017.
  9. ^ "EAST (HT-7U Super conducting Tokamak)----Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, The Chinese Academy of Sciences".

External links

  • Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Plasma Physics - EAST[permanent dead link]
  • People's Daily article
  • Xinhua article Mar 1 2006 - Note that EAST is not the "world's first experimental nuclear fusion device".
  • Xinhua article Mar 24, 2006 Nuke fusion reactor completes test
  • Mainichi Daily News article Jun 2, 2006[permanent dead link]

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