Posted on: 20th May 2013

“Can we extract energy from water?” was the question that attracted a rapt crowd to Slovenia’s Jozef Stefan Institute, during their recent Open Day. Answering the question was Dr Luka Snoj, fusion physicist at the Institute, who included as part of his lecture live video conferences with ITER and JET.

During a ten minute cross to ITER, Rem Haange, Head of the ITER Project Department, gave an update on progress at the construction site. Unfortunately in the live cross to JET, Dr George Sips, from Operations in the JET Department, managed only a smile before the connection crashed.

The Open Day showcased the full range of the Institute’s research, which centres around its fission reactor. The area of materials research for nuclear reactors is also very applicable to future fusion facilities – it is in this area, modelling the dynamics of neutrons interacting with components, that Luka Snoj works, in close collaboration with EFDA’s fusion technology task force.

Dr Snoj’s seemingly unlikely question – whether water could provide energy – proved to be the major drawcard of the day, as a big crowd crammed into every available seat in the main lecture theatre and then filled a second lecture theatre, to which the presentation was streamed. They were nor disappointed: Dr Snoj’s welcome answer assured them that the deuterium and lithium found in the oceans can indeed be harnessed to provide almost limitless energy through nuclear fusion.

The Jozef Stefan Institute is the Slovenian signatory to EFDA.  It is also responsible for EFDA’s travelling exhibition, Fusion Expo