Fusion – Helping JET soar

Equipment and expertise from Oak Ridge National Laboratory will allow scientists studying fusion energy and technologies to acquire crucial data during landmark fusion experiments in Europe. 

ORNL’s Ted Biewer led a team that developed diagnostics equipment for JET, the Joint European Torus facility in the United Kingdom, which will allow scientists to better measure and understand the nuclear fusion process.

JET is a testbed for ITER, the international experiment under construction in France that will eventually use deuterium and tritium fuel to demonstrate fusion as a viable, carbon-free energy source.

Deuterium-tritium experiments have been rare in part because tritium is in short supply and challenging to handle. Fusion researchers will use this fuel for the first time in 25 years in JET to maximize fusion performance in anticipation of ITER. 

“These JET experiments are historic. It’s a rover-touching-down-on-Mars type thing for fusion,” said Biewer.