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Type Tokamak
Operation date 2006-
Major radius 1.7 meters
Minor Radius 0.4 meter
Magnetic field 3.5 teslas
Heating 7.5 megawatts
Location Hefei, China

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. 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. In February 2007 the reactor sustained an electrical current of 250 kA for five seconds.[2]

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.[3]


Physics objectives

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 NbTi 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 H89 > 2

Tokamak parameters

Toroidal field, Bθ 3.5 T
Plasma current, IP 0.5 MA
Major radius, R0 1.7 m
Minor radius, a 0.4 m
Aspect ratio, R/a 4.25
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) 0.5 MW
Neutral beam injection (NBI) None currently
Pulse length 1–1000 s
Configuration Double-null divertor
Pump limiter
Single null divertor


External links

Citable sentences

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