The Joint European Torus artificial sun in the UK produced 59 megajoules of energy through thermonuclear fusion. This is the highest level achieved in this type of experimental reactors.
Scientists from the EUROfusion consortium – 4,800 experts, students and employees from all over Europe, including Polish scientists from the Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microfusion in Warsaw, using the potential of the JET (Joint European Torus) tokamak, obtained a record 59 megajoules of sustainable energy from nuclear fusion.
Record for a European artificial sun
The achievement more than doubles the previous fusion energy record set in 1997 of 21.7 megajoules. They were obtained during a campaign aimed at verifying 20 years of progress in the field of nuclear fusion research and optimal preparation for the launch of the international ITER project.
ITER is an experimental reactor located in the south of France, part of a research project dedicated to nuclear fusion research. It was created in cooperation between China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States. It aims to demonstrate the scientific and technological possibilities of fusion energy.
“The presented achievement is a huge step towards mastering the energy from nuclear fusion reactions. This is the culmination of great work and effort of scientists from Europe, including Poland and the Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microfusion. I am very happy that we are part of this success and take part in such significant research. Fusion energy is the future, and as we know, the world needs clean, low-emission and unlimited energy. Agata Chomiczewska, national coordinator of research on the JET tokamak, from the Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microfusion spoke.
Fusion is the process that powers stars like our Sun, promising in the long run an almost limitless source of clean electricity using a small amount of fuel that can be obtained worldwide from inexpensive materials. The fusion process combines atoms of light elements, such as hydrogen, at high temperatures, from which helium is formed and enormous energy is released in the form of heat. Fusion is inherently safe because it cannot start a process that cannot be controlled.