EFDA and Fusion for Energy start a collaboration to prepare for the scientific exploitation of the Japanese-European experiment JT-60SA.

picture of JT60 segment

The first 40° sector of the JT-60SA vacuum vessel was completed in June at JAEA Naka Fusion Institute, JAPAN. (Picture: JT60-SA)

As of May 2011, EFDA, in collaboration with F4E, started preparing the European element of the JT-60SA research programme. In May, EFDA held a meeting in Frascati, Italy, to review the Research Plan for JT-60SA. In conjunction with their Japanese colleagues, EFDA has already started work on modelling JT-60SA plasmas thus enabling experiments to be planned and further developments to be made with regard to the operation parameters of the machine.

JT-60SA is an advanced fusion experiment built by both Japan (JAEA) and Europe (F4E and the European Voluntary Contributors: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland). It is part of the Japanese-European ‘Broader Approach Agreement’, which is a set of jointly built research facilities designed to complement the ITER experiment. F4E coordinates the European contribution to the Broader Approach. The JT-60SA tokamak is similar in size to JET, the world’s largest magnetic fusion experiment, but unlike JET it features superconducting magnets. JT-60SA is designed to operate in long pulses and at high plasma pressures, both key issues for the design of a demonstration fusion power plant. JT-60SA will act as an ITER satellite experiment, preparing the regimes of operation that will be tested in ITER with production of fusion energy at a reactor scale level.

Recently, the F4E Governing Board and the EFDA Steering Committee agreed to involve EFDA in the preparation of the JT-60SA experimental programme. The JT-60SA team under F4E concentrates on the technology and engineering tasks associated with the construction of the device. EFDA, which already runs a comprehensive physics programme to prepare for the ITER experimental phase, will prepare the exploitation of JT-60SA. The first task to be carried out is that of coordinating the review of the JT-60SA research plan. By promoting organisation of the European element of the JT-60SA Physics Unit, EFDA will ensure the best and widest possible use of JT-60SA by European scientists.