The period between Christmas and New Year is a holiday for most of the staff at Culham. However, a few people have to work over the holidays. Some of them will be at home but ‘on-call’. They have to be available to respond in the event of emergencies on essential parts of the plant which continue to work throughout the shutdown. Site cooling water and compressed air supplies are just two of the examples. Most of the essential equipment has ‘redundancy’ built in. If one item fails, then another parallel system is available to take its place.The whole JET plant is monitored continuously, and there is always a ‘shift team’ on duty, 24 hours a day throughout the year. They monitor the essential systems and use their knowledge and expertise to decide how to respond and when to call in additional staff.
This year there will be a few other people at work during the holiday period. They are working to prepare the systems that will be used to gain access to the torus early in the New Year. The shutdown plan has a very tight schedule and they will try to ensure that the next few milestones are achieved on-time.