Research into fusion
Fusion offers the possibility of continuous and large-scale energy supply for the long term without associated greenhouse gas emissions. Conceptual designs for future fusion power stations are based on the existing research lines, in particular the tokamak which has already demonstrated 16 MW of fusion power for a few seconds. The physics of fusion is now sufficiently well understood to progress towards the scientific and technological demonstration of fusion, while R&D for the technology required to construct a commercial power station is advancing.
The coordinated and collaborative approach pursued by Europe has enabled the realisation of joint projects, culminating in JET (Joint European Torus) located at Abingdon (UK). This device, still the most powerful in the world, is simply too large for any one Member State to have undertaken its development alone. JET is the only machine currently capable of operating with the deuterium-tritium fuel mixture that will be used in future commercial fusion power stations.
About 2 000 scientists and engineers are currently working on the necessary range of fusion physics and technology projects in more than 30 laboratories across the Member States and associated countries. This coordinated joint effort has resulted in a model European Research Area and has put Europe in a leading position in fusion research worldwide.