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JET nuclear fusion reactor shatters record for energy production

Nature has reported that the Joint European Torus (JET) fusion reactor in Oxford, UK, has produced the highest level of sustained energy ever produced from an atom fusion. The reactor produced 59 megajoules of energy on December 21, 2021, during a pulse that lasted just five seconds. This figure represents double of what the reactor was capable of in 1997. The energy production has been considered a landmark in the renewable energy community, with the lead of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy calling the results a huge step in conquering one of the world’s most complex scientific and engineering challenges. The JET reactor is an experimental device created by the European Fusion Program.

The JET reactor was created to promote future experiments with much larger ITER reactors being built in France. They will likely begin testing in 2025. So far, JET has been able to achieve what was predicted of it. Therefore, the same modeling claims that ITER should work in France. JET leveraged a mixture of both deuterium and tritium, the same mix that will power ITER. JET has also achieved a Q value of .33, meaning that it produces roughly one third of energy put in. Outside of JET, the US holds second place with its National Ignition Facility, however, its Q value stands at 0.7.

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