Joint European Torus

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Inside_JET_tokamak.jpg
Split image of JET with right side showing hot plasma during a shot.

JET, the Joint European Torus, is a tokamak and is the largest nuclear fusion reactor yet built.

Situated on an old RAF airfield near Culham, Oxfordshire, in the UK, construction was started in 1978 and the first experiments began in 1983.

JET is equipped with remote handling facilities to cope with the radioactivity produced by Deuterium-Tritium fuel, which is the fuel proposed for the first generation of fusion power plants. Pending construction of ITER, JET remains the only large fusion reactor able to use this fuel mix.

In 1997 JET achieved a peak fusion power of 16 MWs; the as-of 2004 current world record. The same experiment achieved a value of Q=~0.7 where Q is the ratio of fusion power to input power. (A self-sustaining nuclear fusion reaction would need a Q>1).

In December 1999 the JET Joint Undertaking came to an end. The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) took over the safety and operation of the JET facilities on behalf of its European partners. The experimental programme is as of 2004 being co-ordinated by the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA) Close Support Unit.

JET operated throughout 2003 culminating in experiments using small amounts of tritium. For most of 2004 it was shut down (and still is) for a series of major upgrades increasing total available heating power to over 40 MW, enabling further studies relevant to the development of ITER to be undertaken. In the future it is possible that JET-EP (Enhanced Performance) will further increase the record for fusion power.

See also Timeline of nuclear fusion.

External links

de:Joint_European_Torus

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