Scientists Smash Their Own Record on Sustained Nuclear Fusion Energy

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Joint European Torus vessel Interior - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.02.2022
Researchers working on the Joint European Torus tokamak have demonstrated 59 megajoules of sustained fusion energy – more than double what was achieved in similar tests back in 1997.
European scientists have broken their own record for the amount of energy released in a sustained nuclear fusion reaction.

Engineers at the Joint European Torus (JET) tokamak near Oxford in the UK announced on 9 February that they had managed to generate the highest-ever sustained energy from fusing atoms, more than doubling the previous record of 21.7 megajoules set by the same facility in 1997.

During the latest experiments, the scientists produced 59 megajoules of sustained fusion energy over five seconds, which is tantamount to 11 megawatts of power.
Even though it’s not a massive energy output, the significance of the new experiments is that they are expected to add greatly to the development of an even bigger fusion reactor now being constructed in France.
Joe Milnes, the head of operations at the reactor lab, underscored that the latest JET experiments had put the scientists “a step closer to fusion power”.
"We've demonstrated that we can create a mini star inside of our machine and hold it there for five seconds and get high performance, which really takes us into a new realm”, he added.
Milnes was echoed by Ian Chapman, the chief executive of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, who touted “landmark results” as something that had taken researchers “a huge step closer to conquering one of the biggest scientific and engineering challenges of them all”.
“It’s clear we must make significant changes to address the effects of climate change, and fusion offers so much potential. We’re building the knowledge and developing the new technology required to deliver a low carbon, sustainable source of baseload energy that helps protect the planet for future generations. Our world needs fusion energy”, Chapman pointed out.

The same tone was struck by Tony Donne, EUROfusion programme manager, who described the achievement as the result of “years-long preparation by the EUROfusion team of researchers across Europe”.

“The record, and more importantly the things we’ve learned about fusion under these conditions and how it fully confirms our predictions, show that we are on the right path to a future world of fusion energy. If we can maintain fusion for five seconds, we can do it for five minutes and then five hours as we scale up our operations in future machines”, Donne said, calling the new experiments “a big moment for every one of us and the entire fusion community”.
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