Photo credit: Gov.uk
Researchers working at the Joint European Torus (JET) nuclear reactor have achieved a record 59 megajoules performance for sustained fusion energy, which more than doubles the previous record of 21.7 megajoules set in 1997. If nuclear fusion can be harnessed, the process that powers the Sun, it will be able to provide a near-limitless source of clean energy. Unfortunately, no experiment thus far has generated more energy out than it puts in.
The Joint European Torus (JET) results do not show that it generates more energy out than it puts in, but does suggest that a follow-up fusion reactor project that uses the same technology and fuel mix may eventually be able to achieve this goal. These experiments today are the culmination of nearly two decades’ work and to break the record, JET utilized a tritium fuel mix.
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These milestone results are testament to the UK’s role as a global leader in fusion energy research. They are evidence that the ground-breaking research and innovation being done here in the UK, and via collaboration with our partners across Europe, is making fusion power a reality,” said George Freeman MP, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation.