MAST (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak) is the UK’s fusion energy experiment, based at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy. Along with NSTX – a complementary experiment at Princeton in the USA – MAST is one of the world’s two leading spherical tokamaks (STs).
MAST is currently going through a major £30 million upgrade to achieve near-fusion conditions in a compact device. This will enable MAST to carry out studies for a future Component Test Facility to study the engineering of commercial fusion reactors.
In addition MAST will study the physics and control of high-performance plasma to improve the future operation of ITER. In so doing it will be the first machine to trial the Super-X divertor, an innovative plasma exhaust system capable of handling the huge power loads of future commercial reactors.
MAST-Upgrade will need a range of engineering services which will provide business opportunities for UK companies.
The Joint European Torus (JET), located at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, is the world’s largest and most powerful tokamak and the focal point of the European fusion research programme led by the EUROfusion consortium. Designed to study fusion in conditions approaching those needed for a power plant, it is the only device currently operating that can use the deuterium-tritium fuel mix that will be used for commercial fusion power.
Since it began operating in 1983, JET has made major advances in the science and engineering of fusion, increasing confidence in the suitability of the tokamak for future power production. Milestones at JET have included the world’s first controlled release of deuterium-tritium fusion power (1991) and the world record for fusion power (16 megawatts in 1997). In recent years, JET has carried out much important work to assist the design and construction of ITER.
Following a major upgrade which included a new ‘ITER-Like’ inner wall, diagnostics and neutral beam heating enhancement, JET is producing exceptional results to support ITER design. Further enhancement to JET may be needed to support the next run of deuterium-tritium experiments, planned for later this decade.This could provide business opportunities for UK companies.
JET is operated by CCFE on behalf of EUROfusion and is continuing to play an important role in fusion research during the construction of ITER. For more information on EUROfusion, please click here.