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JET: Controlled thermonuclear fusion successfully tested

The Joint European Torus (JET) collaborative EC project is the world's largest fusion experiment. Set up in 1978 with a view to investigating the feasibility of controlled thermonuclear fusion as a long term, environmentally acceptable solution to the energy problem, JET annou...

The Joint European Torus (JET) collaborative EC project is the world's largest fusion experiment. Set up in 1978 with a view to investigating the feasibility of controlled thermonuclear fusion as a long term, environmentally acceptable solution to the energy problem, JET announces that on 9 November 1991 controlled magnetic confinement fusion was sustained for a significant period at the Abingdon, United Kingdom installation. For the first time a deuterium/tritium mixture was employed in the generation of some two megawatts of power. The experiment, one of a series designed to progressively approach reactor conditions, involved the heating of deuterium and tritium gas to temperatures in the order of 200 million degrees Celsius. This success lays a strong foundation for the proposed International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), currently in the study phase, capable of producing 1000 megawatts for periods of up to one hour. Note that a Commission proposal for a Council Decision (COM(90) 441 of 25.9.1990) for the specific RTD programme in the field of Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion (1990-1994), sets out the scientific and technical objectives of the programme including those of the Joint Undertaking. The first priority objective of the specific programme is to provide the scientific and technical base, and to prepare industry for the construction of a NEXT STEP device. The document also outlines the NEXT STEP and ITER projects.

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