Posted on: 9th March 2010

From 1-5 March, the “1st General Planning Meeting” was held at JET. In total around 120 participants contributed in person or remotely. The EFDA Associate Leader Francesco Romanelli welcomed the audience by outlining the aims for this 1st General Planning Meeting: “This meeting is the first step into the preparation of the experimental programme in 2011 and beyond”. Organiser of the meeting, George Sips, emphasised that “The aim of this meeting is to optimise the experimental programme through the input from the European Fusion Laboratories” and he added with enthusiasm: “It’s your programme, your participation is important!”

The European Experiment JET is currently undergoing a vast refurbishment. After this so-called “shutdown” it is going to enter the next experiments with widely extended capabilities. With its new ITER-Like Wall (ILW), diagnostic and neutral beam heating enhancements, JET will provide conditions and constraints very similar to those expected in ITER. Hence, there will be unrivalled scientific opportunities from the very start of wall conditioning right through to full power operation. That is why key results are expected for 2011 and 2012.

In this 1st General Planning Meeting scientists from European Associations, ITER and international collaborators discussed the main topics for research with the ILW for 2011 and beyond. The status of the JET shutdown and enhancements were given, followed by discussions on priority areas and general discussions, allowing input on all relevant topics.

As a clear result of this meeting JET will have to provide timely input to ITER, provide input to plasma wall interaction issues and cover a broad range of scientific areas. Challenging tasks are lying now ahead: The detailed planning of the 2011 campaigns and an outline of the programme beyond 2011. The finalisation of the ideas and proposals is planned for October and the “2nd General Planning Meeting” is scheduled for 15 -19 November 2010. Hence, the request for participation of the European partners won’t end as it is the core of this extraordinary European experiment.