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Joint European Torus experiments end on a 69 megajoules high

The Joint European Torus (JET) bid farewell with a remarkable achievement, setting a new world record in energy output.

Operating out of the UK since 1983, JET marked its final chapter with groundbreaking results as it prepares for decommissioning.

In its last experiments involving deuterium-tritium fuel, JET generated significant fusion power for five seconds, setting a world record of 69 megajoules while utilizing just 0.2 milligrams of fuel.

JET, a tokamak fusion device, has been among the largest and most powerful fusion machines globally. Conducting its first deuterium-tritium experiments in 1997, it had previously set a record in 2021 with 59 megajoules of energy output during a five-second pulse.

However, the countdown had begun for JET as ITER, an even larger fusion facility, is set to start plasma production in 2025 and achieve full magnet power by 2026. In its later operational stages, JET underwent upgrades, including the replacement of its carbon inner wall with a beryllium and tungsten ITER-like Wall (ILW), aligning its configuration closely with ITER’s.

While there was a petition to extend JET’s operation until ITER became operational, EUROfusion managers decided to proceed with the decommissioning process, emphasizing that the time for such considerations had passed.

Dr. Pietro Barabaschi, director-general of ITER, acknowledged JET’s invaluable contributions as a precursor to ITER, particularly in material testing, component development, and generating scientific data on deuterium-tritium fusion.

“The results obtained here will directly benefit ITER, validating our approach and accelerating progress toward our performance objectives,” Barabaschi stated.

Accelerated progress is eagerly awaited as ITER has faced delays in its design and construction, with the current timeline aiming for first plasma in 2025 and deuterium-tritium operation by 2035, later than initially anticipated.

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