The Joint European Torus (JET), one of the world's largest fusion devices, has set a new world record for fusion energy produced in a single plasma discharge
Using only 0.21 milligrams of fusion fuel, the device generated enough energy to lift a 70-kilogram person to a height of 10,000 meters, the HUN-REN Energy Science Research Center reported.
The center's researchers and engineers have participated in JET experiments for over two decades.
Located in Oxford, JET's latest deutrium-tritium experiments (DTE3) released continuous fusion energy for 5.2 seconds, resulting in 69.26 megajoules (MJ) of heat energy, powering the equivalent of 12,000 households for the duration.
As a tokamak-type device, JET uses strong magnetic fields to contain a doughnut-shaped plasma.
Fusion research often uses two heavy hydrogen isotopes, deuterium and tritium, as fuel. Their union releases helium and a large amount of energy, a reaction that underpins future fusion power plants. During the recent experiment, the plasma was heated to 150 million Celsius, ten times hotter than the Sun's core.
Sándor Zoletnik, head of the Fusion Plasma Physics Laboratory at the Research Center, noted that Hungarian scientists and engineers have contributed to JET's scientific endeavors for over 20 years, including developing and operating a high-speed camera system and beam diagnostics, and interpreting their data.
Although JET was shut down in December after 40 years, the analysis of its data will continue for many years, and its legacy will influence the next generation of fusion reactors.
JET's findings have direct implications for several fusion projects, including the ITER reactor being built in France, the UK's STEP prototype power plant, the European demonstration power plant (DEMO), and other global initiatives aiming for safe, low-carbon, sustainable energy production.