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In early 2022, the Joint European Torus (JET) broke its own previous world record by producing 59 megajoules of heat energy from fusion in 5 seconds. The previous record produced just 22 megajoules of heat energy. It’s still a small amount of power: 59 megajoules is enough to boil 60 kettles of water. However, the new record validates design choices for the next step in developing fusion power, the ITER facility in Southern France. ITER is predicated on the development of a magnetic fusion device known as a tokamak. This bagel-shaped device is filled with extremely hot plasma that reaches about 150 million degrees°, at which point hydrogen atoms fuse and consequently release energy. Powerful magnetic fields are required to control the resulting hot plasma. Experts hope that JET illustrates what will ultimately make ITER successful: the capability of producing 10 times the energy that scientists put into it.

Record-breaking fusion experiments


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