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Fusion research experiments yield new high-energy record

Feb. 09, 2024.
1 min. read 3 Interactions

10 times hotter than the core of the Sun, using a mere 0.2 milligrams of fuel

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Amara Angelica

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Amara Angelica is Senior Editor, Mindplex

Inside the Joint European Torus (JET) fusion reactor (credit: EUROfusion)

The Joint European Torus (JET), one of the world’s largest and most powerful fusion machines, has demonstrated the ability to reliably generate fusion energy and has set a world record in energy output—a significant milestone in the field of fusion science and engineering.

In JET’s final deuterium-tritium experiments (DTE3), high fusion power was consistently produced for 5 seconds, resulting in a ground-breaking record of 69 megajoules, using a mere 0.2 milligrams of fuel.

10 times hotter than the core of the Sun

JET is a “tokamak”—a design that uses powerful magnetic fields to confine a plasma in the shape of a doughnut. Fusion, the process that powers stars like our Sun, promises a clean baseload source of heat and electricity for the long term, using small amounts of fuel that can be sourced worldwide from inexpensive materials.

When a mix of two forms of hydrogen (deuterium and tritium) is heated to form a controlled plasma at extreme temperatures—10 times hotter than the core of the Sun—they fuse together to create helium and release energy that can be harnessed to produce electricity.

Sustainable fusion energy

More than 300 scientists and engineers from EUROfusion—a consortium of researchers across Europe—contributed to these landmark experiments at the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) site in Oxford. The results solidify JET’s pivotal role in advancing safe, low-carbon, and sustainable fusion energy, according to the researchers.

More information: https://www.gov.uk/ukaea. Social Media: @UKAEAofficial

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