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This article is about the thermonuclear reactor. For the cardinal direction, see East. For other uses, see East (disambiguation).
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
Chinese 先进超导托卡马克实验装置
Hanyu Pinyin xiānjìn chāodǎo tuōkǎmǎkè shíyàn zhuāngzhì
Literal meaning Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak

The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST, internal designation HT-7U) is an experimental superconducting tokamak magnetic fusion energy reactor in Hefei, the capital city of Anhui Province, in eastern China. The experiment is being conducted by the Hefei-based Institute of Plasma Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It has operated since 2006.

It is the first tokamak with superconducting toroidal and poloidal magnets, and 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, and tokamak assembly 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, also built by the Institute of Plasma Physics in partnership with Russia in the early 1990s.

According to official reports, the project's budget is a relatively small 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 - results[edit]

On September 28, 2006, "first plasma" was achieved.

In February 2007 the reactor sustained an electrical current of 250 kA for five seconds.[3]

In January 2016, a plasma pulse was maintained for a record 102 seconds at approximately 50 million K.[4]

Physics objectives[edit]

Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak

China is a member of the ITER consortium, and EAST will be a testbed for technologies proposed for the ITER project.

EAST will 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 1000 seconds with 0.5 MA plasma current
  • Schemes for controlling plasma instabilities through real-time diagnostics
  • Materials for divertors and plasma facing components
  • Operation with βN = 2 and confinement factor H89 > 2

Tokamak parameters[edit]

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



External links[edit]