The central facility of the European fusion programme is JET, the Joint European Torus, which is jointly used and financed by all European laboratories. Besides JET, EUROfusion has access to other experiments that contribute directly to the Roadmap missions.

The Joint European Torus (JET)

May 2011: The inside of the JET vessel with the installation of the ITER-Like Wall completed.

May 2011: The inside of the JET vessel with the installation of the ITER-Like Wall completed.

JET, based in Culham, UK, is the central research facility of the European Fusion Programme, and the largest and most successful fusion experiment in the world. As a joint venture, JET is collectively used under EUROfusion management by more than 40 European laboratories. Over 350 scientists and engineers from all over Europe contribute to the JET programme.

The medium size tokamaks

Collage Medium Sized Tokamks

The Medium Size Tokamak (MST) project enables experiments that cannot be done on JET, complements and confirms JET results and broadens the experimental database.

ASDEX Upgrade is run by IPP at Garching, Germany. ASDEX Upgrade is equipped with a tungsten wall (one of the planned ITER wall materials) and it can create ITER-like high power loads at the reactor wall. It scales up to JET, which scales up to ITER, and thus enables a stepped approach to the development of ITER plasma regimes of operation.

The spherical tokamak MAST is situated at Culham in the UK and run by Culham Centre for Fusion Energy. MAST is currently upgraded to investigate especially the super-X divertor – a magnetic configuration that spreads the heat loads at the divertor area – the area of the vessel wall which is in touch with the plasma edge. MAST-Upgrade campaigns are planned for 2016.

TCV is a variable configuration tokamak for the study of differently shaped cross-sections of the plasma run by Swiss Plasma Center in Lausanne, Switzerland. During 2014 TCV is undergoing a major upgrade in heating power. From 2015 on it will investigate proof of principle concepts of snowflake divertor configurations, which could reduce the heat loads at this area of the reactor wall.

Stellarators

Inside the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator. (Picture: Bernhard Ludewig, IPP)

Inside the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator.
(Picture: Bernhard Ludewig, IPP)

The advanced Stellarator Wendelstein 7-X is currently being commissioned by IPP at Greifswald in Germany. Operation will start in 2015. It will test a magnetic field optimised to overcome the difficulties of previous stellarator concepts. The quality of plasma equilibrium and confinement will be comparable to that of a tokamak. EUROfusion investigates stellarators as a possible alternative concept for fusion power plants.

Facilities for developing plasma-facing components

Dutch Institute For Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) at Nieuwegein, Netherlands, operates Magnum PSI, and the Pilot-PSI device, both linear plasma generators used to investigate plasma-surface interactions.

Another linear plasma generator for studying plasma wall interactions, PSI-2, is operated by Forschungszentrum Jülich

In southern France, CEA is transforming its Tore Supra tokamak into the WEST facility, which will be used as a test platform for plasma facing components. Operation will start in 2016.