Following its record-breaking results earlier this year*, Europe's research consortium for fusion energy EUROfusion has announced the start of conceptual design activities for Europe's first demonstration fusion power plant DEMO (pictured).
The announcement was made at a EUROfusion event on 5 July held to celebrate its accomplishments, including the world fusion energy record announced by EUROfusion researchers earlier this year, and to present the research plans that are intended to get the global fusion experiment ITER started in earnest.
DEMO is a first-of-its-kind fusion device, due to come into operation around the middle of this century, and is intended to demonstrate the net production of 300 to 500 MWe of fusion energy for the grid.
This month’s Horizon EUROfusion event is the first in a planned annual series where the consortium shares progress made, and the steps ahead to realise fusion energy.
*In February 2022 researchers from the EUROfusion consortium – which consists of 4800 experts, students and staff from across Europe, and is co-funded by the European Commission – used the Joint European Torus device to release a record 59 MJ of sustained fusion energy.
This achievement on JET, located at the UK Atomic Energy Authority site in Oxford, and the largest and most powerful operational tokamak in the world, more than doubled the previous fusion energy record of 21.7 MJ set there in 1997. It is part of a dedicated experimental campaign designed by EUROfusion to test over two decades’ worth of advances in fusion and optimally prepare for the start of the international ITER project, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor being developed at Saint-Paul-Les-Durance, in Provence in southern France.