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Science & Technology

World's largest nuclear fusion reactor has commenced operations in Japan

By T.K. Randall
December 4, 2023 · Comment icon 2 comments
The JT-60SA experimental fusion reactor.
The reactor during construction. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Michel Maccagnan
It is hoped that the JT-60SA reactor will help to pave the way toward clean, near-limitless energy for everyone.
Often seen as the Holy Grail of power generation, nuclear fusion is the same process that produces energy in the Sun and works by fusing hydrogen nuclei together to create helium.

Unlike nuclear fission which comes with the inherent risk of a meltdown, fusion is much cleaner and safer while the hydrogen fuel used by the process is so abundant that it is practically limitless.

While physicists have been attempting to build a working nuclear fusion reactor for the purpose of energy generation for over 60 years, success has always remained tantalizingly out of reach.

This latest endeavor, which has been built via a collaboration between Japan and the European Union, represents another step toward achieving the goal of sustainable fusion power.
Situated in a hangar to the north of Tokyo, the JT-60SA reactor will conduct fusion experiments designed to determine the feasibility of generating more energy than it takes to run.

"It's the result of a collaboration between more than 500 scientists and engineers and more than 70 companies throughout Europe and Japan," said deputy project leader Sam Davis.

JT-60SA will also act as a stepping stone toward the completion of an even more ambitious nuclear fusion project - the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in France.

Only time will tell, however, whether or not either project will succeed in bringing about an era in which sustainable fusion power will be available to everyone, everywhere.

Source: | Comments (2)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Nosy.Matters 3 months ago
Hmmm thought a brit said, they were busting their balls down in France getting theirs built buT! -- the Japanese already built one overnight!?!? Hmmm.     .... ah reading, JAPAN's "experimental "" fusion reactor ... okay. Well --fingers crossed X
Comment icon #2 Posted by Cho Jinn 3 months ago
So much cleaner than solar or wind.  Probably not as profitable in the very short term, however.

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