Hefei institute delivers fusion power plant to Thailand
The Hefei Institutes of Physical Science at the Chinese Academy of Sciences – located in Hefei, capital of East China's Anhui province – recently delivered the first revolutionary tokamak power plant, named the Thailand Tokamak 1 (TT-1) device, to Thailand.
The tokamak is an experimental machine designed to harness the energy of fusion. Inside a tokamak, the energy produced through the fusion of atoms is absorbed as heat in the walls of the vessel. Just like a conventional power plant, a fusion power plant will use the heat to produce steam and then electricity by way of turbines and generators.
A view of the Thailand Tokamak-1. [Photo/ah.anhuinews.com]
The TT-1 device – based on the second-generation HT-6M tokamak developed by the Hefei institute – uses state-of-the-art technology, primarily used for controlled nuclear fusion research.
The cooperation between the two sides began in August 2017. As part of their collaboration, the Hefei institute donated the HT-6M device to Thailand and provided extensive support in terms of device modification, research and development, physical experiments and personnel training. Following thorough upgrades and integration, the device was renamed the TT-1.
The partnership is said to not only showcase the commitment of both sides to the Belt and Road initiative, but also aims to nurture a new generation of fusion researchers in Thailand.
The official operation of the TT-1 device is regarded as being a significant milestone for Sino-Thai fusion joint development and is said to highlight the progress in scientific and technological innovation between the two countries.
Looking ahead, the Hefei institute and the Thai side plan to further their collaboration by attracting more young researchers from the ASEAN region to join in with the development of the science of fusion.
There are also plans to develop the TT-1 device into a benchmark for Sino-Thai scientific and technological cooperation and establish a China-ASEAN fusion research center together.