UK fusion technology breaks ‘landmark record’

Researchers produced 59 megajoules of sustained fusion energy, more than double the previous record in 1997

Big Zero Report 2022

Fusion technology has reached a new milestone after a reactor in Oxford broke its own world record for fusion energy output.

Fusion has the potential to become a source of low carbon energy by copying the processes that power the sun and stars.

A consortium of 4,800 experts, students and staff across Europe more than doubled previous records achieved in 1997 at the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) site in Oxford using the same fuel mixture to be used by commercial fusion energy power plants.

The UK’s national fusion laboratory said 59 megajoules of sustained fusion energy was produced at the Joint European Torus (JET).

The facility is home to what is described as the largest and most powerful operational tokamak machine in the world.

Ian Chapman, Chief Executive of UKAEA, said: “These landmark results have taken us a huge step closer to conquering one of the biggest scientific and engineering challenges of them all.

“It is a reward for over 20 years of research and experiments with our partners from across Europe.

“It’s clear we must make significant changes to address the effects of climate change, and fusion offers so much potential. We’re building the knowledge and developing the new technology required to deliver a low carbon, sustainable source of baseload energy that helps protect the planet for future generations. Our world needs fusion energy.

A few days ago, the authority said its fusion energy machine completed its 100,000th live pulse.

If you enjoyed this story you can sign up to our weekly email for Energy Live News – and if you’re interested in hearing more about the journey to net zero by 2050, you can also sign up to the future Net Zero newsletter. 

Latest Podcast