5 September 2023
by Alex Brinded

World's largest tokmak begins final experiments

The Joint European Torus (JET) in Oxfordshire, UK, will end 40 years of scientific operations in 2023.

Interior of JET with a superimposed plasma © EUROfusion

The UK Atomic Energy Authority's facility at Culham is the only machine able to operate with tritium in its fuel mix.

Its deuterium-tritium experiments focus on the necessary scientific and engineering for operating future fusion machines, such as the UK's planned Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production project in Nottinghamshire, ITER in France involving 35 nations, as well as its successor, the DEMOnstration Power Plant successor.

The planned deuterium-tritium experiments, known as DTE3, will run for seven weeks to investigate plasma, materials and neutronics.

This phase will see 36 experiments in a bid to: reduce the heat load on the divertor exhaust system by injecting impurities into the plasma without compromising performance; use laser-induced desorption to  measure the amount of tritium in the surface of the wall materials; improve real-time control of the plasma heat load; and understand the impact of the bombarding neutrons on the materials and components.

This comes 20 months after JET demonstrated sustained fusion over five seconds at high-power and set a world record.


Alex Brinded

Staff Writer