China's "Artificial Star" Is Three Times Hotter Than Our Sun

China's "Artificial Star" Is Three Times Hotter Than Our Sun

Star Fusion

China has crushed Germany's hydrogen fusion record in an experiment with result three times hotter than our Sun.

Fusion reactors are the Holy Grail of clean energy, producing almost unlimited fuel with none of the pesky environment side effects. We're just waiting for the technology to become viable, which makes Germany's Wendelstein 7-X experimental reactor so promising. But according to a new study, China has just surpassed Europe's fusion record, producing energy far longer than Germany did last January.

In case you're unfamiliar with fusion reactor technology, it attempts to recreate the immense energy of a star by heating hydrogen gas to comparable temperatures. As insane as that sounds, it's already possible with today's technology - but only for an instant. For example, Germany's Wendelstein reactor heats hydrogen to just over 80 million degrees Kelvin for less than a second.

China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor, on the other hand, makes a far more impressive claim. It's cooler than the Wendelstein - only 50 million degrees Kelvin - but can maintain the temperature for 102 seconds. According to Chinese physicists, EAST achieves this with a powerful magnetic field which keeps the hydrogen suspended inside its chamber.

EAST's original goal was to reach 100 million Kelvins for 1000 seconds, but if these numbers are accurate, we're still looking at a new fusion record. These temperatures are also far hotter than the Sun itself - roughly 15 million Kelvin - and comparable to a medium-scale thermonuclear explosion. It will probably be a few decades before these reactors are feasible for meeting our widespread energy needs, but if this helps kick off a new energy race? Maybe the more optimistic fusion predictions won't be so unreasonable any longer.

Source: Daily Express

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I'm going to take this with a grain of salt. China isn't known for its honesty and one-upping a scientific achievement of this scale, within a week and 3 times better seems a bit...unlikely.

I'll wait and see if someone says its all bull or not

Renegade-pizza:
I'm going to take this with a grain of salt. China isn't known for its honesty and one-upping a scientific achievement of this scale, within a week and 3 times better seems a bit...unlikely.

I'll wait and see if someone says its all bull or not

Pretty much this. China's habitual lying about literally everything in every sphere of life to the point where an honest statement getting through the layers of censorship is the exception makes disbelieving claims like this be the only reasonable default until someone with more credibility confirms it.

They can take all the records for all i care, as long as they're taking all the precautions and doing it safely.

Even if there is just a shred of truth in this, it's amazing. I think the least they have done is maintain the energy, which is big in itself. The more the better, provided there are good intentions.

Hopefully, this will mean next-to-nothing costs for the end-consumer when it's ready. If we get electricity in a massive, massive quantity with little-to-no effort creating it, it will be a new age of prosperity as long as we have rare-earth elements. But even then, with so much electricity, we maybe come to create these ourselves, too. Electricity means potential energy in any form, as far as I can see.

So, please let this be real.

...yeah, it's China. If we announced that we'd developed a ship that could go twice the speed of light, the very next day they'd announce a "secret project" that could go four times the speed of light. Honest!

Until it's reliably verified by a trustworthy third party, my eyebrow will remain raised.

The only thing I have to say about this considering it's China claiming it...

Of course, naturally, we dunno how accurate this is, buuut...if it WERE true...it would be pretty cool.

A look at the source of this article ("the daily express") and the comments there... Is that site a reputable news source? there's no indication of the original source of the news

102 seconds is orders of magnitude greater sustained fusion time than previous efforts, and possibly more than sufficient for positive energy net result?

Can we not refer too much to the German experiment? The single pulse they did was a test fire afaik. Their result didn't last long because it wasn't supposed to. It didn't even achieve fusion.

Also, great. Assuming any of the information is true.

Fanghawk:
China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor, on the other hand, makes a far more impressive claim. It's cooler than the Wendelstein - only 50 million degrees Kelvin -

The article you linked to says it was 50 million Celsius. Not Kelvin.

But to be fair, the difference between Kelvin and Celsius is only 273.15 degrees, so with rounding a number in the tens of millions then that's not going to change regardless of which one we use.

Just strange to see the Kelvin scale being used, it's behind Celsius and Fahrenheit now that most of the world is on Celsius and the US still uses Fahrenheit.

Lightknight:

Fanghawk:
China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor, on the other hand, makes a far more impressive claim. It's cooler than the Wendelstein - only 50 million degrees Kelvin -

The article you linked to says it was 50 million Celsius. Not Kelvin.

Is Google's temperature converter lying to me? Cause it says 50,000,000 Celsius comes to about 50,000,273 Kelvin. Even if I wasn't rounding down, that's not a huge shift at these scales.

Fanghawk:

Lightknight:

Fanghawk:
China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor, on the other hand, makes a far more impressive claim. It's cooler than the Wendelstein - only 50 million degrees Kelvin -

The article you linked to says it was 50 million Celsius. Not Kelvin.

Is Google's temperature converter lying to me? Cause it says 50,000,000 Celsius comes to about 50,000,273 Kelvin. Even if I wasn't rounding down, that's not a huge shift at these scales.

Sorry, you got in before my edit. I was just pondering the use of Kelvin at all. Strange to see it being used anymore after the worldwide conversion to Celsius. Also, why convert the scale being used from the source material at all?

Just strange.

Do you happen to have an actual science background? That's the main reason I would expect to see someone decide to use Kelvin instead since they're the only group still using that scale because it makes basic math easier since most numbers are going to be positive whereas the use of Celsius and Fahrenheit would result in some negative numbers.

To be frank, I'm moreso trying to get a read on you. You keep posting pretty neat articles and I'd like to know a bit more about your background going forward. Someone that auto-converts scales to the appropriate scientific scale is someone I can trust a bit more but not something I'd expect from a journalist, to be honest.

Zontar:

Renegade-pizza:
I'm going to take this with a grain of salt. China isn't known for its honesty and one-upping a scientific achievement of this scale, within a week and 3 times better seems a bit...unlikely.

I'll wait and see if someone says its all bull or not

Pretty much this. China's habitual lying about literally everything in every sphere of life to the point where an honest statement getting through the layers of censorship is the exception makes disbelieving claims like this be the only reasonable default until someone with more credibility confirms it.

Just wait for next weeks announcement of north korea having discovered the working Cold fusion, cloned a real life unicorn and the secret of immortality... but they are not going to share with anyone else because everyone else is a poo poo head.

.... you know i wouldnt be surprised if that was actually a real press release from north korea..

But as far as china goes: Yeah... ill believe that the moment someone outside of chinas control aknowledges it... someone who doesnt have to fear to spontanously "disapear" if he doesnt toe the party line...

cikame:
They can take all the records for all i care, as long as they're taking all the precautions and doing it safely.

It's actually very safe. There's no risk of a meltdown in fusion.

Lightknight:

Fanghawk:
China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor, on the other hand, makes a far more impressive claim. It's cooler than the Wendelstein - only 50 million degrees Kelvin -

The article you linked to says it was 50 million Celsius. Not Kelvin.

But to be fair, the difference between Kelvin and Celsius is only 273.15 degrees, so with rounding a number in the tens of millions then that's not going to change regardless of which one we use.

Just strange to see the Kelvin scale being used, it's behind Celsius and Fahrenheit now that most of the world is on Celsius and the US still uses Fahrenheit.

Rather than something like a Fahrenheit vs Celsius conversion argument I would assume that Kelvin is used exclusively by the scientific community, with the whole point being it's on the same scale as Celsius but just sets '0' at absolute zero. Which is, you know, probably useful for sciency stuff.

RandV80:

Lightknight:

Fanghawk:
China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor, on the other hand, makes a far more impressive claim. It's cooler than the Wendelstein - only 50 million degrees Kelvin -

The article you linked to says it was 50 million Celsius. Not Kelvin.

But to be fair, the difference between Kelvin and Celsius is only 273.15 degrees, so with rounding a number in the tens of millions then that's not going to change regardless of which one we use.

Just strange to see the Kelvin scale being used, it's behind Celsius and Fahrenheit now that most of the world is on Celsius and the US still uses Fahrenheit.

Rather than something like a Fahrenheit vs Celsius conversion argument I would assume that Kelvin is used exclusively by the scientific community, with the whole point being it's on the same scale as Celsius but just sets '0' at absolute zero. Which is, you know, probably useful for sciency stuff.

Right, but what we have here is a journalist conveying a scientific scenario to readers. In the vast majority of the time, neither are scientists that internally convert to Kelvin since that's their standard. Journalists usually cater to their audience so converting to Kelvin would be more alienating there. So what may be interesting here is if the journalist actually has a scientific background and subconsciously or intentionally used Kelvin instead of Celsius which is the common nomenclature worldwide. Alternately, it could have just been a mistake.

If subconsciously or intentionally, it would indicate that we actually have a science minded writer on our hands and would color (positively) my view of subsequent articles.

I wonder when North Korea will post that they mastered time travel?

Seriously, if it's true, it's an awesome advancement.

008Zulu:
I wonder when North Korea will post that they mastered time travel?

Seriously, if it's true, it's an awesome advancement.

To be fair, time travel may already exist.
But since you can only travel to your own future, to bypass the casuality issue, we cannot meet time-travellers yet.
Which might make a good spy story: a secret agency preventing past-travelling thieves to steal current tech in order to bring it back to their own time, modify the "present" in the process. Imagine 1500 AD native-americans with space technology.

Incidentally, it would explain how certain people in history has been able to produce "miracles". Less than god's intervention, they might have been time-travellers.

Pics or it didn't happen, China.

008Zulu:
I wonder when North Korea will post that they mastered time travel?

Seriously, if it's true, it's an awesome advancement.

North Korea has already proven the existence of Unicorns so at this rate they'll have mastered time by next week by powering a time machine with viable fusion technology from the future.

Have we not learned from all those science fiction movies?

Never a good idea, unless you have an arachnid-human hybrid at hand.

This article just outright lies by omission through not mentioning the fact that these reactors swallow many thousands of times the energy they could ever create.
You know those super-dense magnetic fields capable of crushing single Hydrogen atoms?
Well they don't happen by Magic. They need a whole lightning-storm's worth of electricity to happen, in addition to supercooled rare-earth magnet arrays.

Also, Hydrogen is sill a finite resource here on our little blue rock, one that we need if we want to keep our puny flashbags moist with Hydrogen-dioxide (aka. Water)

Thorium on the other hand is just a common rock we don't use because building a reactor based on it would mean consuming some of our precious, deadly, radioactive, poisonous, prone-to-spontaneously-ignite-when-exposed-to-air, Plutonium reserves.

Neferius:
This article just outright lies by omission through not mentioning the fact that these reactors swallow many thousands of times the energy they could ever create.
You know those super-dense magnetic fields capable of crushing single Hydrogen atoms?
Well they don't happen by Magic. They need a whole lightning-storm's worth of electricity to happen, in addition to supercooled rare-earth magnet arrays.

It happens because it is short term reaction. Reactor capable of continuous operation would compensate for electricity used to start the reaction and maintain it (at least that's the idea)

Also, Hydrogen is sill a finite resource here on our little blue rock, one that we need if we want to keep our puny flashbags moist with Hydrogen-dioxide (aka. Water)

True, but H is the most abundant chemical on Earth, in our solar system and arguably in our galaxy.
If we can't use the most abundant thing in our vicinity, then by that principle we shouldn't consume anything

Thorium on the other hand is just a common rock we don't use because building a reactor based on it would mean consuming some of our precious, deadly, radioactive, poisonous, prone-to-spontaneously-ignite-when-exposed-to-air, Plutonium reserves.

But thorium is still a finite resource here on our little blue rock /jk
While I do support investigation in Th based nuclear reactors, I don't get why you're mixing Pu into this.
Do Th reactor requires Pu to operate?

cikame:
They can take all the records for all i care, as long as they're taking all the precautions and doing it safely.

Just one question.

What do you imagine would happen if there's a breach in the reactor chamber of a Tokamak reactor?

Well that's nice, makes no goram sense but it is nice.
Tokamaks don't heat those gases to 90-100mil Kelvin for shits and grins, they do it because you have almost no pressure in a magnetic field so they need to go that much hotter before fusion starts happening. If you go half that temperature you aren't doing anything, 102 seconds of not doing anything is just as not useful.

I'm guessing they were only testing containment, but the sources being so vague and dodgy it is difficult to tell if anything is legit.

while its chona so its reliability is according, i wonder how much effect did the Germany suspending funding for its fusion research had on china possibly beating germany to it. Germany basically decided that housing immigrants is more important than discovering unlimited energy source, so they shifted money there.

someone needs to tell all those people that it's fine to only be as hot as the sun. we don't need to melt Galactus, or anything, just fuse some hydrogen.

Lightknight:

Fanghawk:

Lightknight:
The article you linked to says it was 50 million Celsius. Not Kelvin.

Is Google's temperature converter lying to me? Cause it says 50,000,000 Celsius comes to about 50,000,273 Kelvin. Even if I wasn't rounding down, that's not a huge shift at these scales.

Sorry, you got in before my edit. I was just pondering the use of Kelvin at all. Strange to see it being used anymore after the worldwide conversion to Celsius. Also, why convert the scale being used from the source material at all?

Just strange.

Do you happen to have an actual science background? That's the main reason I would expect to see someone decide to use Kelvin instead since they're the only group still using that scale because it makes basic math easier since most numbers are going to be positive whereas the use of Celsius and Fahrenheit would result in some negative numbers.

To be frank, I'm moreso trying to get a read on you. You keep posting pretty neat articles and I'd like to know a bit more about your background going forward. Someone that auto-converts scales to the appropriate scientific scale is someone I can trust a bit more but not something I'd expect from a journalist, to be honest.

No scientific background beyond my grade 12 chemistry course - just really enjoy and appreciate the amazing things science accomplished. Didn't stop me from diving into the Science and Tech podcast either.

As for why I went with Kelvin, the source article used them interchangeably so I went with the more formal one.

Glad you're enjoying these posts!

Fanghawk:
EAST's original goal was to reach 100 million Kelvins for 1000 seconds, but if these numbers are accurate, we're still looking at a new fusion record.

JET was hitting temperatures much higher than this back in the '90s, and could sustain it for up to 30 seconds. 102 seconds might be a record for time, but it's not that much higher than previously achieved and is much less impressive in pretty much every other way so going on about how hot it is is extremely misleading.

And it certainly didn't "crush Germany's hydrogen fusion record" because not only does the Wendelstein 7-X reactor not hold any records, it hasn't produced any fusion at all - it's currently undergoing early commissioning and testing with low density plasma, and won't even attempt any fusion until much later.

Renegade-pizza:
I'm going to take this with a grain of salt. China isn't known for its honesty and one-upping a scientific achievement of this scale, within a week and 3 times better seems a bit...unlikely.

I'll wait and see if someone says its all bull or not

It's not. EAST is part of the ITER collaboration and is one of the reactors, along with JET and others, used for testing technologies and theory for ITER. This isn't some wild claim from China trying to one-up everyone else, it's an important step for a major international project.

Neferius:
This article just outright lies by omission through not mentioning the fact that these reactors swallow many thousands of times the energy they could ever create.

If you're going to accuse people of lying, you should perhaps try not to be so hilariously wrong in your own claims. JET currently holds the record for gain factor of 0.7 - that is, the power generated was 70% of that used in running the machine. And this isn't like NIF's figure that neglected a lot of the losses, that's actual power use. Others have even claimed to have Q > 1, meaning they produced more power than was used, although these were based on extrapolations and aren't generally considered good enough to claim the record.

Also, Hydrogen is sill a finite resource here on our little blue rock

Not in any meaningful sense. There's so much hydrogen available just on Earth that we could power civilisation for millions of years at absolute minimum, and probably much longer, before coming close to running out. And given that it's by far the most abundant element in the universe, it's not like we'd struggle to find other sources if we needed.

one that we need if we want to keep our puny flashbags moist with Hydrogen-dioxide (aka. Water)

Water is HO2 now? I guess we can add that to the list of interesting things that can be learned from your post.

Thorium on the other hand is just a common rock we don't use because building a reactor based on it would mean consuming some of our precious, deadly, radioactive, poisonous, prone-to-spontaneously-ignite-when-exposed-to-air, Plutonium reserves.

Thorium reactors don't require the use of plutonium, they simply require a neutron source. Most thorium reactors have used uranium, not plutonium, for this, although the ideal is an accelerator driven reactor that doesn't require seed fuel at all.

Incidentally, said "common rock" is around 4 times as abundant as uranium, with reserves sufficient for maybe a few thousand years of use. Not much effort has been made to find it since there's not much use for it other than nuclear power, but even assuming more thorough prospecting found significantly more, it's not going to be even as much as an order of magnitude. If you're worried about hydrogen running out in millions of years, suggesting thorium as alternative would simply be insane since it will run out thousands of times faster. In practical terms, worrying about either is completely pointless, since there's more than enough of both to last far longer than any sensible predictions can be made about power use or technological and scientific advancement.

Kahani:

Not in any meaningful sense. There's so much hydrogen available just on Earth that we could power civilisation for millions of years at absolute minimum, and probably much longer, before coming close to running out. And given that it's by far the most abundant element in the universe, it's not like we'd struggle to find other sources if we needed.

Is this actually true? There's certainly a lot of hydrogen on Earth, but if I recall correctly the type of hydrogen used for fusion is heavy hydrogen, which IIRC accounts for less than a tenth of one percent of total hydrogen. Add to this the fact that effectively all the hydrogen on the planet is bound up in other compounds (such as water) which requires even more energy to isolate, and things don't seem to be looking too good.

Basically, the steps are:
1) Find heavy hydrogen.
2) Free hydrogen from its current molecule.
3) Transport hydrogen to power plant.
4) Burn hydrogen for energy.

Even if scientists manage to get step 4) to be a net positive -- heck, even if they managed to get 100% energy efficiency, which is an impossibility -- I'm not sure that we'd have millions of years of energy without some serious improvements in steps one through three. At it's worth noting that just as there's a maximum amount of energy you can get out in step 4), there's also a minimum amount you need for step 2), depending on the molecule you're using.

Basically, although I haven't done the math to work out the numbers, I'm dubious of claims that we could get a million years of energy consumption out of fusion. Or at least, I'd like to know what sort of energy efficiencies are required in step 4) to make it happen.

Kalki:

MrFalconfly:

cikame:
They can take all the records for all i care, as long as they're taking all the precautions and doing it safely.

Just one question.

What do you imagine would happen if there's a breach in the reactor chamber of a Tokamak reactor?

There was a good discussion about this on Reddit.

https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/2nbn11/what_would_happen_to_a_fusion_reactor_if_the/

u/VeryLittle on Reddit:
It will depend on the reactor design. Let's assume a worst case scenario, there is a breach in the reactor containment vessel and the fuel gets out. In that case, your reactor is likely destroyed, and a fuel leak will contaminate local groundwater.

Fusion reactors very broadly have two main species that are being developed, inertial confinement and magnetic confinement reactors. Inertial confinement uses lasers to heat little pellets of hydrogen fuel on all sides to the point that it fuses, and I won't discuss them here. Magnetic confinement is more of your 'typical' reactor design. For instance, the tokamak. That's the ITER reactor in France. It has a donut shaped chamber where hydrogen plasma is heated to 150 million degrees Celsius and contained by magnetic fields in order to fuse hydrogen into helium. Let's suppose it gets out. First, the magnetic field fails. The magnetic field is supported by superconducting magnets which have to be kept at temperatures close to absolute zero in order to carry the electric current that produces the field. The heat of the escaped plasma will cause the wires to stop superconducting and all of the energy of the magnetic field will very quickly be dumped into heat in the wires, boiling off the cryogens. This is called a quench and it can seriously fuck up the magnet and cryogen system. (Come to think of it, if the reactor has an outer cryogen tank that's basically at absolute zero and a plasma at some hundred million degrees then this reactor probably has one of the steepest temperature gradients in the universe- this kind of thing just doesn't happen naturally).

Anyway- the expanding cloud of gas. When the gas expands it cools very very quickly and ceases fusing almost immediately, stopping the fusion reaction dead in its tracks. Unfortunately, the fuel is a mixture of hydrogen isotopes- deuterium with one proton and one neutron, and tritium with one proton and two neutrons. Deuterium is stable and found in nature and is actually harvested from the hydrogen in sea water since that's a readily available source, but tritium is actually unstable and highly radioactive.

A tritium leak into the environment is bad because hydrogen is so reactive it makes it really hard to clean up. Greenpeace has a good fact sheet about the risks of tritium leaks, and as pro-nuclear energy as I am, I have to acknowledge that tritium leaks are really fucking bad.

When radioactive material gets out into the environment you want it have a very very short half life, or a very very long one. That way it'll either all decay away immediately, or it'll decay so slowly that it's not really irradiating anything. Tritium has a half-life of 12 years, which is neither fast nor slow, it's right in the sweet spot of being terrible. That tritium will bond with oxygen to make water molecules. Radioactive water molecules. These will make their way into the water table and are impossible to remove because they look just like any other water molecule... except sometimes it'll spit out a high energy electron. If this water is in your body, then that radioactive decay will shoot a high energy electron through you, destroying organic molecules and scrambling your DNA. At the least, this can increase your risk of cancer a marginal amount. At its worst, it could kill you.

Best case scenario: the reactor is destroyed but the gas is contained by some secondary containment vessel so the tritium leak doesn't happen, and the gas can be collected and processed properly. Anyway, even in worst case scenario I can imagine for a fusion reactor failure is still a million times less dangerous than fission reactor meltdown.

This is entirely accurate, as far as I can tell, and without being a smug dick I can tell quite a bit in this case.

Well this seems to coincide with what I imagine would happen after a catastrophic tokamak reactor failure.

The_Great_Galendo:
Is this actually true? There's certainly a lot of hydrogen on Earth, but if I recall correctly the type of hydrogen used for fusion is heavy hydrogen, which IIRC accounts for less than a tenth of one percent of total hydrogen.

It's actually closer to a hundredth of one percent. But the thing is, oceans are really, really big. See Wiki here, although one of the citations seems to be broken which can be found here. In fact, this paper says that there are billions of years worth, not just millions, with even more once you start looking at other fuels like lithium. Of all the problems fusion power has, abundance of fuel is not one of them.

Add to this the fact that effectively all the hydrogen on the planet is bound up in other compounds (such as water) which requires even more energy to isolate, and things don't seem to be looking too good.

While this does need to be taken into account, it's so small as to be essentially negligible. This is due to the vast difference in energies of nuclear reactions compared to chemical ones. The energy required to break both bonds in a water molecule is 9.95 eV. The energy released in a D-D fusion reaction is 12.5 MeV - over 1,000,000 times more. It's estimated that a practical power plant would need a Q value of around 10 (ie. you need to get out 10 times as much energy as is used to run the power plant). Even assuming those estimates don't already take things like fuel production into account, electrolysis of water would only change that to 10.00001. Basically, if we can get to the point where fusion is a practical fuel source, the energy requirements to produce the fuel are not going to be a significant problem.
Edit: Oops, got my millions and thousands mixed up.

Kalki:
This is entirely accurate, as far as I can tell, and without being a smug dick I can tell quite a bit in this case.

It's not technically wrong, but it misses by far the most important point - the amount of tritium that is actually present. See [url="http://www.iter.org/faq#What_procedures_are_foreseen_to_avoid_any_loss_of_tritium_mostly_during_the_first_tests_incomplete_fusion_"[/url] here on the ITER website - this claims only a few grams are in use at any time, although I've previously read it would be more like half a gram of combined deuterium-tritium fuel. Yes, tritium is a pretty nasty one to get in your body, but even a catastrophic explosive failure would release such a tiny amount into the environment that it would be basically irrelevant; unless one person managed to inhale the lot it would barely even be measurable. And speaking of explosive failure, see [url="http://www.iter.org/faq#Is_the_energy_stored_in_a_100-million-degree_plasma_dangerously_large"[/url]. Because there's such a small amount of material involved, the actual energy isn't all that high and wouldn't be enough to significantly damage the reactor beyond superficial surface damage. A Chernobyl-type scenario where you spray radioactive matter across the landscape simply isn't possible for a fusion reactor. That's why fusion, and also thorium fission, are so good from a safety point of view - with modern fission plants there are all kinds of safety systems to prevent problems, but with fusion and thorium many of the problems are simply physically impossible even in an absolute worst case scenario.

Kalki:
It's important to remember that ITER is an experimental device, not a full scale attempt to harness fusion power. We're not talking about an accident with a lab run, but an accident with a fusion power plant. There is an enormous difference

In essence, you're making the case that the small test fission reactors that used to be the norm at the dawn of the nuclear age didn't present a "Chernobyl-scale" risk. Of course not, they were not Chernobyl scaled.

ITER is going to (assuming it works) produce 500MW output power. That's more than many existing power plants. This is not a small-scale test lab, it's a full scale demonstration model. The risk of catastrophic failure you are so concerned about simply does not exist, and you should probably learn at least a little bit about a topic before arguing about it, since you clearly have very little knowledge of what ITER actually is or how fusion works.

Kalki:
Existing power plants, yes, but not proposed fusion power plants.

We're not going to suddenly start building plants producing hundreds of gigawatts, fusion plants will be the same size as existing ones - up to a few times larger than ITER at most.

It also operates for extremely short periods of time

10 minutes per pulse, with the later part of the program specifically dedicated to increasingly frequent pulses as would be required in an operating power plant. As noted before, tokamaks are always pulsed systems, and that will still be the case for power plants. Exactly what the optimal pulse length and frequency is is, of course, still under investigation, but it will be a similar magnitude to that of ITER because, once again, that is the entire point of ITER.

and does not breed its own tritium.

Yes it will. That's precisely one of the things ITER is intended to test.
Edit: Unless you're being incredibly pedantic in this case, since the tritium ITER breeds won't be fed straight back into the reactor; it's a test system, not a commercial production facility, in the same way that the power it generates won't be used to run the place either.

These are enormous differences.

They wouldn't be particularly important differences if they actually existed, but once again you've demonstrated a total lack of knowledge of what ITER actually is by being categorically wrong about every single claim you've made.

Now, as to what we each know about ITER... I saw your original version of your post, so lets drop the act.

You mean the original version in which I said exactly the same as in the current version, but realised I was repeating myself so tidied it up into just one paragraph? Yeah, because obviously that means I'm only acting as if I know what I'm talking about. On the other hand, we have someone who didn't know ITER was a full scale 500MW reactor, didn't know only a couple of grams of fuel at most would be used, didn't know there is only enough plasma to do superficial damage to the containment vessel, didn't know ITER will breed tritium, doesn't understand what a pulsed system is, and in fact has so far failed to get a single statement even close to correct. Someone is certainly acting here, and I'm pretty sure it's the one who has repeatedly demonstrated they don't have the slightest clue what they're talking about. I can see why such a person might be concerned they would appear:

Kalki:
a smug dick

Although I'm less sure why a person with such a comprehensive lack of knowledge and understanding would claim:

Kalki:
I can tell quite a bit in this case.

 

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