Yet again, a new fusion energy record from JET!

Artistic image of humanity harnessing the power of the sun. Generated with AI.

The Joint European Torus (JET) already reached the world fusion energy record back in December 2021, but as if that were not enough, it has done it yet again, two years later, during December 2023 with 69 megajoules using a mere 0.2 milligrams of fuel, beating the previous record of 59 megajoules. This is roughly the energy needed for a hairdryer to work for 10 hours nonstop. The importance of this new feat stems from the evident new knowledge that the fusion community has acquired in recent times that has allowed for such a steady advancement in the field.  

The path towards harnessing the power of the Sun is a long one – nevertheless, important steps forward are being made. The JET tokamak, located at Culham (Oxfordshire, UK) has been, in recent years, one of the main players in the nuclear fusion scene worldwide, and not without a reason. There are several tokamaks in the world, but JET is the only one with the important ability to operate with deuterium-tritium plasma. The relevance of this fact lies in its associated fusion cross section —the capability of deuterium and tritium to fuse at a relatively low temperature with high probability—, this is the so-called reactor relevant fuel.

The Joint European Torus (JET) reactor interior. Source: JET.

We have talked quite a lot about the last campaigns at JET and their importance in our field (see the previous record here and the main goals here) and it is not without some sadness that I write these lines knowing that we must say goodbye to JET. However, let’s celebrate this new record and focus on the good path fusion is on.

Our Fusion Group has made substantial contributions to JET and its latest results. Moreover, two of our members, Mervi Mantsinen and Dani Gallart have led experiments and a modelling task during the D-T campaigns, respectively.

If you would like to watch the full video report on JET’s latest success, I recommend this video. We will devote a full article to JET in the near future, so do stay tuned!  

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