EU gave a new financial boost to fusion research

Friday, 11 July, 2014
The new contract for JET facilities has been signed on 6 June 2014 between the European Commission and the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy. It is a major EUR 283 million contract, under Article 10 of the Euratom Treaty that enables exploitation of JET - the world’s largest experimental magnetic fusion device - to continue until the end of 2018.

This new contract guarantees the continued availability of JET for the new EUROfusion consortium, which represents all the EU national fusion laboratories and institutes plus Switzerland, until the end of the present Euratom programme 2014-18.

JET is currently the world’s largest experimental magnetic fusion device, and is the model used for the design of ITER, the global fusion experiment under construction in the south of France that will demonstrate the viability of fusion as a virtually inexhaustible greenhouse gas-free source of energy. JET has been in operation since 1983, and from 2000 the Culham Centre has been responsible for its operation. In an upgrade that was completed in 2011, JET was refitted with internal plasma-facing components made of the same materials that will be used in ITER. Furthermore, JET is currently the only machine in the world capable of operating with the fuels of an eventual fusion power plant and that will also be used in ITER. The JET experimental programme is therefore entirely devoted to validating ITER design choices and preparing for ITER operation, and more than any other fusion device currently available JET is contributing to the success of ITER.