SCIENCE

Despite decades of hype, there is now real hope of progress in fusion

It may have a history of over-optimistic predictions, but research into generating power using a fusion reactor is finally making notable advances



Technology


| Leader

19 October 2022

EUROFusion

WHERE is the hottest known spot in the solar system? The surprising answer is that it is in the village of Culham in Oxfordshire, UK, beside the river Thames. This is the home of the Joint European Torus (JET), a record-breaking fusion facility. When powered up, plasma rushes around the reactor’s core at 150 million °C, hotter than the centre of the sun.

JET is a poster child for the backers of fusion power, the technology that has, for decades, been touted as a solution to our energy and climate woes. The process yields vast amounts of energy, but no …

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