EUROfusion

European Consortium for the Development of Fusion Energy

Logo EUROfusion

Realising Fusion Electricity

The increasing future energy demand in combination with the danger of climate change challenges politics as well as research. Fusion energy bears the potential of a powerful yet carbon-free nuclear energy source.

The concept of a fusion power plant is similar to what makes the sun shine: fusion of light nuclei. Circular experiments on earth utilise powerful magnetic fields and electrical currents to heat and confine a hot gas or plasma at temperatures approaching 200 million degrees Celsius.

The Joint European programme EUROfusion is tailored to support the next step international device ITER. Support to ITER is provided with design studies, diagnostic systems and experimental time on fusion devices and material testing facilities in France, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

EUROfusion: Interior of JET - with a plasma shown on the right hand side of the vessel

A colourful computer generated visualisation of EUROfusion’s flagship experiment JET. This is a stripped back image which only shows a small number of systems.

EUROfusion’s flagship experiment, the Joint European Torus (JET) is hosted at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) in the United Kingdom. JET attains plasma conditions sufficient for fusion to occur. Work on JET has proved invaluable in the design of ITER – which will produce significant fusion power on the scale of a power plant.

A future fusion power station would produce as much electricity from one lithium laptop battery and half a bath of water as burning 40 tons of coal. The proof-of-concept has been made in the late 1990s confirming that gaining energy from the fusion process is feasible.

The ‘Consortium for the Development of Fusion Energy’, EUROfusion is co-funded under the European HORIZON 2020 framework programme. The strength of the European programme is based on combining resources, exchanging experienced scientists and engineers as well as the collective exploitation of JET and national devices.