The JET (Joint European Encirclement) experimental nuclear fusion reactor has been completed. Today, Saturday, he completed the last experiment in which the nuclear fusion process was carried out with deuterium and tritium. The reactor is scheduled to be permanently shut down at the end of this year.
JET was the largest nuclear fusion reactor in the world and achieved many breakthroughs in the field of nuclear fusion. The project was part of EUROfusion, the European research program in the field of nuclear fusion.
The reactor is located in Culhelm, a village in Oxfordshire, England, and is operated by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). Due to Brexit, England will not be part of the EUROfusion programme. In England, the UK Atomic Energy Authority is now preparing to build its own reactor: STEP.
At JET it was possible for the first time to combine tritium and deuterium, two isotopes of hydrogen, to form helium. This fusion releases energy. Nuclear fusion is a safe form of nuclear energy because it produces less radioactive waste than nuclear fission.
The reactor at Culhelm has a donut-like shape with magnets on the sides. At temperatures of up to 150 million degrees, the fuel can exist here in plasma and valve form. Plasma is a gas in which electrons move freely away from atoms due to heating.
To date, no nuclear fusion reactors have been used to generate power. It is not easy to create the right conditions for integration. It requires very high pressure and temperature.
A record amount of energy generated by a European nuclear fusion experiment
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