Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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 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, 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[edit]

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]

By May 2015 it 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 approximately 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, it was able to successfully sustain high-confinement (H-Mode) plasma for over a minute. The reactor was able to maintain a temperature of 50 million Kelvins, about three times as hot as Sun’s core.[7][8]

Physics objectives[edit]

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[edit]

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


External links[edit]