JET – A European joint venture
The Joint European Torus (JET) investigates the potential of fusion power as a safe, clean, and virtually limitless energy source for future generations. The largest tokamak in the world, it is the only operational fusion experiment capable of producing fusion energy. As a joint venture, JET is collectively used by more than 40 European laboratories. The European Consortium for the Development of Fusion Energy, EUROfusion for short, provides the work platform to exploit JET in an efficient and focused way. As a consequence more than 350 scientists and engineers from all over Europe currently contribute to the JET programme.
Operation of the JET facilities is provided as an in-kind contribution to the consortium via a contract between the European Commission and the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.
JET’s successor – ITER
The roadmap towards a fusion reactor builds in the main on two devices: The international experiment ITER is designed to confine a reactor-scale plasma. It will generate, in the plasma, ten times more power than the power put into the plasma. ITER is a research device and will not generate electricity to the grid. The next foreseen device, DEMO, is expected to do exactly that with a net surplus of energy.
JET is the current fusion device closest to ITER, sometimes even referred to as “little ITER”. JET is equipped with unique facilities needed to operate a fusion power plant and paves the way to meet ITER’s ambitious goal. As a matter of fact, the experimental results and design studies performed by JET are consolidated to a large extent into the ITER design.