JET secures funding through 2020

Funding has been secured for the Joint European Tokamak (JET) through the end of 2020, providing welcome visibility to the world's largest operating fusion research facility in the context of uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The future of JET has been under discussion since 2017 as its work is covered by the Euratom Treaty, which the UK Government intends to leave as part of the process of leaving the European Union.

The new contract signed last week between the UK and the European Commission provides reassurance for over 500 staff at JET, including many from outside the UK. It also means JET can conduct a series of vital fusion tests planned for 2020 that will serve as a "dress rehearsal" for ITER.

JET is operated by the UK Atomic Energy Authority at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE). Scientists from 28 European countries use it to conduct research into fusion energy through work coordinated by the EUROfusion consortium, which manages and funds European fusion research activities on behalf of Euratom.

Ian Chapman, CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, said: "The extension to the contract is excellent news for both European Union and UK science. JET has been a shining example of scientific cooperation between European Union members, and this news means that these mutually beneficial collaborations will continue, allowing us to do essential experiments on the path to delivering fusion power."

Tony Donné, Programme Manager of EUROfusion, added: "A heavy weight has been lifted off our shoulders. This is extraordinarily good news for EUROfusion and the European fusion community as a whole. We can now continue to work on the realization of fusion energy together with the indispensable experience of our British partner."

See the EUROfusion and CCFE websites for more on the funding news.