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Controlled thermonuclear fusion is potentially a major vast new energy source. A reactor based on nuclear fusion would be inherently safe, environmentally friendly, and fuels are cheap, abundant and widely available. The JET tokamak experiment has approached the plasma conditions needed in a thermonuclear reactor based on magnetic confinement concepts. In single deuterium discharges, breakeven has been achieved and, for the first time with deuterium-tritium fuels, up to 1.7 MW of fusion power was achieved in a 2 s pulse. The total energy release was 2 MJ. These results were obtained transiently, limited by a high impurity influx. For long pulse high power operation, plasma dilution has been identified as a major threat to a reactor. Improved impurity control in the pumped divertor configuration in a new phase of JET (1992-1996) is envisaged. Experimental results support a plasma model based on a single phenomenon and MHD limits. Together, these are used to define the size and operating conditions of a reactor. A Next Step device would demonstrate the scientific feasibility of ignition under reactor conditions, and this is discussed within the context of an international collaborative programme.

Additional information

Authors: REBUT P-H, JET Joint Undertaking, Abingdon, Oxon. (GB)
Bibliographic Reference: Report: JET-P(92)20 EN (1992) 11 pp.
Availability: Available form the Publications Officer, JET Joint Undertaking, Abingdon, Oxon. OX14 3EA (GB)
Record Number: 199211051 / Last updated on: 1994-12-02
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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