European researchers' position at the forefront of fusion research has been reinforced thanks to the close cooperation between the EU and Japan on the "Broader Approach Agreement". This agreement has made one of world's top ten most powerful supercomputers available to fusion researchers. The mega-machine – with a speed of 1.5 petaflops (1 500 trillion calculations per second) – sits in Japan's International Fusion Energy Research Centre and is being supplied by France.
The JET programme focuses on reducing the risk of ITER and securing its successful operation by increasing plasma heating, enhancing plasma control and diagnostics, and installing materials in a plasma vacuum vessel identical to ITER. On 18 May the installation of the eighty-two thousand part 'ITER-like wall' was completed. On 24 August, JET successfully produced its first plasma with this new wall. Furthermore, initial experiments are producing results important for ITER plasma operation and licensing.