Chapter 538: No Obvious Radiation Damage
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
STAR machine research institute.
Hou Jinli followed Lu Zhou into the research institute and looked around curiously.
Since leaving the University of Science and Technology of China, he had been at Jinling for more than six months. He was obviously related to the STAR stellarator project, but this was his first time coming here.
Prior to this, he had only heard rumors about this research institute.
Like for example, the security of the research institute was handled by military members.
Also, this place didnt appear on maps like Baidu and Google.
However, coming in now, he found out that the situation was the opposite of what he imagined.
How come the security here isnt as serious as I had thought?
Lu Zhou smiled and said, Yeah, were here.
Hou Jinli scratched his head awkwardly.
I thought the security measures here would be harsher.
Even airports have metal detectors and luggage scanners.
The army is handling the security here, so its completely safe. There is no way unauthorized personnel can even get close to here. Also, real security measures are hidden. Lu Zhou pointed with his chin and said, See that?
Hou Jinli looked at the direction Lu Zhou pointed at, but he but couldnt see anything.
Lu Zhou: Theres a security camera hidden there, you just cant see it.
Hou Jinli was stunned. How do you know?
Lu Zhou: Ive seen the surveillance footage.
All the streets near this place were filled with security cameras; it had no dead spots.
Not just that, but in terms of personnel review, it was equipped with facial recognition by using big data analysis. For example, if a non-resident of this area kept wandering around here all day, even if they didnt come close to the research institute, they would be approached by a security member.
This level of security measures was only possible in recent years.
After all, Chinas ITER situation was becoming more and more obvious. Also, the United States interest in controllable fusion technology gave China a reason to believe that the US might pull some dirty tricks and try to take data in an illegitimate way.
Regardless, there was no such thing as too safe.
Also, it wasnt like Lu Zhou had to personally worry about these things.
There were people that took care of these things behind the scenes.
Hou Jinli walked past the tunnel entrance, and the pair walked straight into the laboratory embedded into the mountain.
When the two arrived, the rest of the laboratory researchers were already there.
After more than a month of the overhaul, the STAR machine had returned to its best state.
However, it was not really in the best state. After all, the swelling of the structural material couldnt be completely eliminated. However, using the knowledge they gained from the ignition experiment last time, this shouldnt be a big problem.
Even if an accident were to happen
It would be worth it!
Even though the radiation environment for both the stellarator and tokamak was similar, there were some subtle differences. Other than for the sake of witnessing history, this was the other reason why Lu Zhou chose the STAR stellarator over EAST or any other tokamak for this experiment.
Sheng Xianfu, who was in charge, saw Lu Zhou walk into the laboratory. He immediately walked over and gave Lu Zhou an update of the situation.
All of the preparations have been completed, we can begin the experiment anytime now.
Lu Zhou: Is the sample inside?
Sheng Xianfu: Its inside.
Lu Zhou nodded and said, Then, lets start.
Sheng Xianfu: Ok!
Their conversation ended.
After Sheng Xianfu received the order, he immediately returned to his work station.
Hou Jinli took a deep breath. The experiment was about to begin, and his whole body was shaking.
40 billion yuan scientific research project. He had never participated in such a major project before.
What if the machine failed, would he be held accountable? What if the LPC-1 material didnt work or that he made a mistake on the XRD test, thus resulting in the failure of this experiment
Even though there was no way these things could happen, he was still sh*tting bricks.
After all, he had never thought about these problems before he stepped foot into the laboratory.
Hou Jinli looked at Lu Zhou and went into deep thought.
If Im feeling the pressure just by standing here, then what kind of pressure is Professor Lu feeling?
Its terrifying just thinking about it
Academician Pan, who was standing next to Lu Zhou, looked at the hard-working staff members behind the floor-to-ceiling windows. He frowned and began to look a little concerned.
Are we really going to use the STAR machine for this experiment?
This is the best choice. Lu Zhou nodded and said with a poker face, If the LPC-1 material proves to be effective, we will immediately begin the construction of the demonstration reactor.
Is the issue with the liquid lithium neutron recovery system solved? Academician Pan looked at him in surprise and said, Theres also the ferrofluid electric energy generator, these are two very important issues, right?
Lu Zhou: They can be solved while the construction is underway. Compared to the neutron radiation, these arent very difficult problems.
Academician Pan: I dont know why youre in such a hurry. Theres still five years until 2025. Its important to go slow and steady Please dont be overly hasty.
Ok, Lu Zhou nodded and said, I understand.
Academician Pan shook his head.
He knew he couldnt persuade Lu Zhou. Lu Zhou only said I understand to be polite to him. Maybe because Lu Zhou was too used to researching alone, which created his assertiveness.
However, Academician Pan had nothing else to do.
After all, he had been away from the research front line for too long; all he got now was the so-called honor and reputation.
He could help with things outside of the research. Like when Lu Zhous cooperation with other research institutes didnt go smoothly, he could act as a type of lubricant.
However, in terms of the actual experiment he really didnt have any say.
Academician Pan sighed and looked at the giant metal behemoth behind the glass panels.
All he could do now was pray.
More than 20 samples were installed in the reactor.
This time, there werent any cameras or reporters.
Because Lu Zhou contacted the city council and indicated that the content of this fusion experiment wasnt suitable for public exposure.
Thank God he did this.
Otherwise, the city council really would have sent a media reporter.
Sheng Xianfu took a deep breath and looked at his watch.
He exchanged glances with Lu Zhou before ordering, Begin experiment!
The second he finished speaking, the liquid helium was injected into the SG-1 superconducting magnets, soaking the circle of graphene wires outside the stellarator outer track.
The resistance of the external magnetic field quickly dropped, and a large current began to pass through the magnetic coil. With the help from the control coil, a perfectly closed magnetic field was formed inside the stellarator.
Using a computer, once Sheng Xianfu confirmed that the magnetic field was in good shape, he continued to order, Inject the fuel!
1mg of tritium deuterium mixture was injected from the conduit into the reaction chamber.
At the same time, the microwave heating device began to heat up the gas molecules inside the machine reaction chamber.
Almost instantly, the gas molecules were ionized into plasma. There was a beautiful aurora-like glow from the magnificent reaction chamber.
The glow was slightly shaking, making it appear vulnerable.
However, that glowing heat inside was hot enough to cut through any armor in this world.
Fortunately, it was being controlled by an invisible force
The magnetic field stabilized and confined the plasma.
The temperature and density of the plasma began to increase to the critical point of fusion ignition.
Everyone couldnt help but clench their fists.
In an instant, the camera flickered and was filled with white noise.
The most terrifying energy on the planet was brewing inside the stellarator chamber.
However, this entire process lasted for less than three seconds
Turn off the microwave heating device!
After the heating device was turned off, the heat inside the machine began to dissipate, and the fusion reaction suddenly stopped.
After they waited for the machine to cool down, staff members wearing protective gear quickly entered into the reaction chamber and retrieved the valuable samples.
These samples would be sent into a dedicated test chamber for DPA and helium residual measurements.
At the same time, the equipment maintenance staff members rushed into the machine and began to evaluate the damage of the first wall material, structural material, the divertor, and other components.
Hou Jinli looked at the samples being sent to the testing room. He followed them and helped the STAR research institute researchers complete the tests.
Within an hour, the test results came out.
Hou Jinli took the report to the laboratory. Everyone gathered around him, including those that couldnt understand the report content.
Hou Jinlis hands were trembling. He looked at Lu Zhou. He then looked at the researchers around him before he said excitedly, The neutron beam basically passed straight through the material, and the interstitial atom returned to its original position! All of the data show that the material has extremely high neutron radiation-resistant properties! There is no obvious radiation damage!
Sheng Xianfu held his breath.
Academician Pans eyes were wide open.
Everyones expression changed to a look of astonishment.
The neutron beam passed through!
No obvious radiation damage!
Lu Zhou began to gradually smirk.
This was probably the best news he heard this year!