Researchers from the EUROfusion consortium – 4,800 experts, students and staff from across Europe, co-funded by the European Commission – used the Joint European Torus (JET) device to release a record 59 megajoules of sustained fusion energy.
This achievement on JET, the largest and most powerful operational tokamak in the world at the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) site in Oxford, more than doubles the previous fusion energy record of 21.7 megajoules set there in 1997. It comes as part of a dedicated experimental campaign designed by EUROfusion to test over two decades’ worth of advances in fusion and optimally prepare for the start of the international ITER project.
The record and the scientific data from these crucial experiments are a major boost for ITER, the larger and more advanced version of JET. ITER is a fusion research project based in the south of France. Supported by seven members – China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the USA – ITER aims to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy.
As pressures mount to address the effects of climate change through decarbonising energy production, this success is a major step forward on fusion’s roadmap as a safe, efficient, low carbon means of tackling the global energy crisis.
“These experiments are a culmination of several years of preparation, and JET has now exceeded the goals that were set in the 1980’s", says Tuomas Tala, Principal Scientist at VTT.
Read more on the press release at EUROfusion.org