Posted on: 30th July 2012

Last week JET performed its last experiments until 2013. But, as JET goes into a period of maintenance and many of the scientists return to their homes across Europe or embark on summer holidays, the work does not stop.

“We’ve ticked all the boxes for the ITER-Like Wall” says Task Force Leader Guy Matthews. JET Department Leader Lorne Horton agrees: “It wasn’t at all obvious that it would go this well! However the experiments have also thrown up a couple of surprises that we will need to look into.”

During the shutdown many of JET’s systems are being upgraded or refurbished. New systems are also being installed or calibrated, especially those that measure gamma rays and neutrons, as JET gears up for deuterium-tritium experiments in 2015. Also tiles will be extracted to examine in detail the wear and tear sustained during these experiments – vital information for evaluating the new ITER-Like wall.

Scientists will also continue analysing the large amounts of data accumulated during the eleven month campaign, checking calibrations and making careful comparisons with previous experiments conducted with the old carbon wall.

Then planning for next year’s campaign needs to be done. Initial meetings have happened, so the task force leaders will use the summer to make detailed plans for the campaign. Already staff from ITER have been involved, requesting certain experiments relevant to ITER be performed to give them more information on which to base their design decisions.

With all this going on, it’s clear every fusion scientist needs to find a good sized beach to jot down their future research plans!