Posted on: 15th May 2011

On 18 May 1979, Dr G. Brunner, the then European Communities Commissioner responsible for energy research, education and science, laid the foundation stone of the JET laboratory. In 1979 the Joint European Torus was an 11-nation project comprising Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, France, Netherlands, West Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

32 years and roughly 80,000 experiments, or “pulses”, later, the much developed machine has just completed a 20-month shutdown. This was a period of intense activity during which the fusion device received regular maintenance but also a radical upgrade.

The most significant change performed in this shutdown is the complete exchange of 4,500 wall tiles in the vessel. Now, JET is in a position to investigate the interaction of the fusion plasma and the wall materials, with the same material combination that ITER will use. JET paves the way to ITER as its experimental results and design studies are consolidated to a large extent into the ITER design. In the coming months the machine will be conditioned and prepared for its next experimental period.