The world’s largest experimental nuclear fusion reactor, JT-60SA, has just been commissioned in Japan. Its purpose is to verify whether nuclear fusion is possible as a clean energy source on a large scale, producing more energy than it consumes.
The reactor is located in Naka, north of Tokyo, and features a donut-shaped tokamak architecture, which contains plasma heated to a temperature of 200 million degrees Celsius. It is a joint EU-Japan project, and is a forerunner of a larger reactor under construction in France, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER).
The ultimate goal is to fuse hydrogen atoms to produce helium, releasing energy in the form of light and heat, replicating the sun’s process.
It is the result of cooperation between 500 scientists and engineers and more than 70 companies from Europe and Japan. It is the most advanced tokamak in the world, and its commissioning is a milestone in the history of fusion. Fusion has the potential to become a major source of energy in the second half of this century. – Kadri Simpson, EU Energy Commissioner
Unlike nuclear fission, nuclear fusion carries no risk of catastrophic nuclear accidents and produces much less radioactive waste than modern nuclear power plants.
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