JERRY MASON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JERRY MASON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The JET (Joint European Torus) nuclear fusion experiment at Culham, Oxfordshire, UK. JET aims to harness thermonuclear fusion, the process that fuels the Sun, as a source of energy. Inside JET's doughnut-shaped containment vessel, a plasma (a superhot gas) of isotopes of hydrogen are confined by a complex magnetic field to stimulate nuclear fusion & liberate energy. Operations began in 1983; on 10th November 1991 an experiment produced 1 megawatt of power for 2 seconds using a fuel of deuterium & tritium. Further experiments are planned to attain "breakeven" - when the amount of energy produced matches that used to heat & maintain the plasma.
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