Politicians, decision maker, journalists, school classes and members of the public are at any time very welcome to visit JET. The visits of school groups as well as private visitor groups are managed by UKAEA Culham’s Public Relations department. The UKAEA team also supports the Close Support Unit (CSU) in organising visits of ‘VIPs’ wishing to see the JET experiment.

There is a high demand for visits, with over 2,500 people coming to see JET during 2008. So the organisation of these visits could easily be a full-time job! The last thoughts of the responsible persons are: Did we inform all needed colleagues for safety? Is the press release primed? Did we fly the flags? Do we need an interpreter? Which brochures are suitable as handouts? Did we have the number of guides we need? The data sheet of tasks seems sometimes endless. Luckily CSU and UKAEA can rely on the help of JET scientists and engineers in showing visitors around the facility. The staff understand the importance of publicizing JET and are happy to act as expert guides for visitors, explaining how fusion experiments are conducted and fielding questions on their work. Phil Morgan has been a JET guide for the past 25 years. After this long period he says: “I take great pleasure in showing people what we do, especially pre-university students. I try to demonstrate to them that a career in physics can be intellectually stimulating and rewarding, and that fusion research offers a gateway into many branches of the subject.”

The work put into organising the visits is well worthwhile in helping the fusion community win new supporters, as you can see by the remarkable quotes by high level politicians who have recently visited JET. Fusion technology and research is a fascinating scientific field. The experiment JET – as Europe’s largest fusion device – stands with its impressive dimensions of 12 metres height for the progress the fusion community has achieved.

Nick Holloway, Petra Nieckchen

Phil Willis, Member of UK Parliament, Chairman of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee

He visited JET on 26th September as part of a parliamentary inquiry into engineering in the UK.

Remarkable, exciting and unbelievable are words to describe one of the most amazing scientific and engineering visits I have ever made.

John Howell, Local Member of UK Parliament for County Henley

He visited on 3rd October for a briefing on fusion and a tour of JET.

Culham is a centre of world expertise in nuclear fusion technology. This is not only about cutting edge science; it’s about cutting edge engineering too. I have always been a fan of fusion as the answer to our long term energy needs.

Liu Yandong, State Councillor of the People's Republic of China

She visited JET on 19th November during her tour of scientific facilities in the UK.

In China we take large scientific and technical facilities very seriously for our future development. China is very interested in developing collaborations in new technology to find clean forms of energy, and nuclear fusion is one of the most promising energy options. JET, as the lead fusion experiment in the world, is very important for the future of mankind. I was impressed by the research and scientific capability. We hope to move our collaboration forward.