Experimental European fusion reactor produces a record amount of energy

(ORDO NEWS) — The experimental European fusion reactor Joint European Torus in Oxford, UK, set a record for the amount of energy produced by a fusion reaction. The reactor worked for a record time and doubled previous performance.

The installation worked for a record 5 seconds and produced 59 megajoules of thermal energy during this time, which is twice as high as the previous record set in 1997. A new experiment has shown that similar projects are moving in the right direction and a controlled thermonuclear reaction is possible.

The Joint European Torus (JET) facility was created as a smaller copy of the ITER reactor. More precisely, the ITER experimental fusion reactor in the south of France is being built on the basis of the greatly enlarged JET project. Therefore, all experiments at the Joint European Torus reactor are the basis for a successful launch of ITER in the future.

After more than 20 years of modernization of the JET facility and the selection of optimal operating parameters, last autumn the reactor was able to deliver more than two and a half times more energy, or 59 megajoules per 5 seconds (11.8 MW / s). The scientists were not faced with the task of obtaining a peak output power. It was necessary to maintain the plasma combustion reaction as long as possible.

Where 5 seconds, there and 5 minutes, the researchers summarize. From a thermonuclear reactor, first of all, the ability to work for a long time is required.

ITER is moving in the right direction

The experiment put on the JET showed the ratio of the consumed and received thermal energy in the region of Q = 0.33. For a positive energy yield, the value of Q must be greater than 1.

If the JET capabilities are increased to the scale of the ITER reactor, then it will be quite realistic to achieve the ratio of energy expended to the energy received in the region of the calculated value for ITER Q = 10.

And this is one of the most important achievements of the JET experiment . This means that ITER is heading in the right direction and will be able to generate a positive energy output after launch.

Another important implication of the record-breaking experiment at the JET reactor may be that it could speed up the decision to start construction of the European Fusion Experimental Power Plant (EU DEMO).

The ITER reactor is not designed to supply electrical energy to the distribution network. This will be done by the next project – EU DEMO, but it is still in the early stages of approval.


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