Posted on: 8th April 2016
April 9 is an important anniversary for EUROfusion’s flagship device the Joint European Torus (JET). The largest and most powerful tokamak in the world and currently the only machine capable of operating with the deuterium-tritium fuel mix –JET– began operations in June 1983 and was officially inaugurated on 9th April 1984 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The device, which is located at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE), UK, has undergone great evolution over the three decades of its existences. In the past years, JET has been upgraded to become more ITER-like in order to conduct dedicated studies for ITER. One main upgrade was to equip the vessel with an inner wall made of the same materials planned for ITER – beryllium and tungsten. Together with upgraded heating power, this ITER-Like Wall enables scientists to develop plasma scenarios that resemble as closely as possible those planned for ITER. Already JET experiments have helped ITER make the decision to begin operation with a full tungsten divertor, thus substantially reducing investment costs. In fact, recently published findings of a European Commission panel (read: Strong endorsement for JET, Fusion Roadmap) have placed JET firmly at the heart of Europe’s fusion research activities and underlined its role as the device that is crucial to the developments at ITER.