China has set a record for creating the highest heat ever recorded. Scientists created temperatures of up to 70,000,000ºC in an "artificial sun". The new record was for keeping the heat at a temperature that is five times hotter than the sun. It did this for more than 17 minutes. The extreme heat was created in a nuclear fusion reactor. The reactor is part of the Experimental Advanced Super-conducting Tokamak project (EAST). It reproduces the natural reactions that happen inside our sun and other stars. The scientists want to develop the artificial sun to create a near-endless supply of clean energy. The EAST project has cost China more than $950 billion. Total costs will run over $1 trillion this year.
Scientists around the world have been trying for decades to develop nuclear fusion. They say it is the best way to produce clean energy. The nuclear fusion process needs no fossil fuels and leaves behind no dangerous waste. If scientists can make it work, the world will become greener and cleaner. It could also mean lower fuel bills. EAST set the new record in a laboratory. Nuclear fusion technology is still not advanced enough to become a global industry. However, researcher Dr Gong Xianzu, a nuclear fusion expert, says the EAST project is an important step. He said: "The recent operation lays a solid scientific and experimental foundation towards the running of a fusion reactor."
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