Korean nuclear fusion reactor closer to commercialization
Unlike light and heavy water nuclear reactors, which are widely used for now, a nuclear fusion reaction provides safer electricity as it produces low levels of radioactive waste.
Along with the United States, the European Union, Japan, Russia and China, South Korea is a part of an international consortium aimed at building a commercial nuclear fusion reactor.
South Korea completed building the tokamak-typed nuclear fusion reactor, called the "Korean Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR)," in 2007 and has conducted research projects to produce electricity from the reactor.
In a statement, the National Fusion Research Institute, a Korean state-run research center in charge of the projects, described the fusion reactor's achievement as a "huge step" in commercializing nuclear fusion technology.
A project named the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), led by the six members of the international consortium, had been originally planned to build a commercial nuclear fusion reactor by 2015, but it has been delayed due to technical difficulties. ■