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JET under Review

-Sabina Griffith

The JET Review Panel meeting at ITER on 23 May. (Click to view larger version...)
The JET Review Panel meeting at ITER on 23 May.
While on Friday 29 April most people's attention was drawn to London where the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was taking place, the international fusion community was focusing on a doughnut-shaped machine based a few kilometres outside of Oxford: After a one-and-a-half year shut down, the Joint European Torus (JET) returned to operation, with a brand-new inner lining made out of beryllium and tungsten.

While all this was happening, a group of independent experts from various fields of research and nuclear industry were investigating the future mission of JET on behalf of the European Commission. The first stop over for the so-called JET Review Panel was the JET Headquarters in Culham itself "where a number of questions were raised to the fusion community," reports the Panel's chairman Albrecht Wagner, an experimental particle physicist and former chairman of the board of directors at Germany's DESY accelerator.
 
On 23 May, a meeting took place at ITER "to hear the Director-General and the ITER staff, of which a large fraction has worked in Culham before," Wagner said. "The goal was to identify the link between the scientific needs of ITER and possible contributions from JET and to agree on a structure for the recommendations.  JET is the largest operating tokamak as of today and we should learn as much as possible from this prototype before we start ITER," stated Wagner. "Or—and you may call it the 'Leitmotiv' of the discussion—what should be done best in order to make ITER a success using what is available?"

On 11 July the JET Review Panel will meet once more, this time in Brussels, to agree upon the final recommendations which will be handed over to the Commission.


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