Posted on: 1st April 2017

Not all news posted on April 1st should be taken seriously, and this is one of them! So, there are no plans give JET and external make-over with mirrors! And even without a fancy façade, it remains one of the most important devices for European fusion research!

Some quick facts about JET

  • The Joint European Torus, JET, is EUROfusion’s flagship and is hosted by EUROfusion’s UK consortium member Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.
  • It is the only existing fusion device capable of operating with a deuterium-tritium fuel.
  • JET is often referred to as “little ITER,” and it has been installed with beryllium-tungsten plasma-facing wall (known as ITER-like wall) and tungsten divertors.

JET’s famous white buildings will soon be getting a new look as part of the European fusion experiment’s preparations for its international successor, ITER.

The JET facility’s old white cladding on the exterior of the buildings is to be replaced with mirrored stainless steel to match the material being used at the ITER complex at Cadarache in southern France.

The JET building waiting for a make-over.

The JET building waiting for a make-over.

The JET machine, as the world’s largest magnetic fusion experiment, is being used as a test device to help pave the way for ITER – the first fusion project designed to produce industrial-scale quantities of fusion power. Between 2009 and 2011 the interior of JET was replaced with a new ‘ITER-like wall’ of beryllium and tungsten to get as close to ITER scientific conditions as possible.

It is now hoped that replicating the exterior of the ITER buildings at JET will complete the transformation to match ITER as best as possible. The cost of this project is slated at 20 million euros, and the architectural firm Solaria PodFly that specialises in concepts using mirrors and reflective glasses has won the contract for the JET make-over.

Ian Chapman, CEO of Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, where JET is located, explained:

“JET’s ITER-like wall has been a success, but we can do more to support our colleagues at ITER. So we think that making the JET complex look like ITER will put everyone here in the mindset to do this. It will be a daily reminder to keep working towards the future of fusion research.”

Tony Donné, Programme Manager of EUROfusion, which co-ordinates European fusion research at JET, fully agrees with the bold move:

“The mirrored stainless steel will have an added benefit,” he says. “It will allow our researchers to check how they look before important meetings or visits by VIPs. Personal appearance is very important in the science community so the ITER-like buildings will really help us look our best.”