First Tokamak plasma for JT-60SA

View of JT-60SA device, resulting from the collaboration between Europe and Japan as part of the Broader Approach Agreement. The facility is located at the seat of the National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology (QST), Naka, Japan. © F4E/QST.

The team of engineers from Europe and Japan have successfully achieved a Tokamak plasma for the first time at JT-60SA, the biggest experimental fusion device to date using magnetic confinement.

The device, otherwise known as ITER’s satellite tokamak project, results from the Broader Approach (BA) Agreement, signed between Europe and Japan. The device is hosted at QST, Japan’s National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology, located in the city of Naka.

Members of the JT-60SA team
Members of the JT-60SA team, exchanging on preliminary data in the control room, Naka, Japan, October 2023. ©QST/F4E

The mission of JT-60SA is to support research for ITER to meet its technological goals, provide knowledge for the transition from ITER towards DEMO reactors, and offer experts the possibility to acquire new skills.  JT-60SA uses powerful superconducting coils cooled to approximately -269 °C (absolute temperature approximately 4K) to confine plasma that can reach 100 million °C.

During the next few weeks, the result will be carefully examined as the teams will continue to perform more tests. This will culminate on a ceremony taking place on 1 December, when the newly built fusion research facility will be officially inaugurated in Naka in the presence of delegates from Japan and Europe.