It’s been celebration time for the team at the JET neutral beam test bed, who ran their 250,000th – yes, that’s 250,000th – pulse in late March.
The test bed is a key facility in CCFE’s operation of the world’s largest fusion device for scientists from around Europe.
It allows plasma heating systems for JET – called ‘neutral beam injectors’ – to be prepared before they’re installed on the tokamak itself, saving a great deal of time over the years. The facility conditions the components with ion beams and performs a series of checks to make sure they’re ready for fusion operations.
The test bed began life in 1983, the year of the first plasma at JET. Fred Long, one of the original operators from 1983, returned to press the button for beam number 250,000.
Through the decades it hasn’t just been used to condition the heating injectors, but also to make new developments and improvements, test system changes before using them on JET, beam physics experiments and also for high heat flux testing (including various JET first wall tile designs).
The team are now finishing off their part of the preparations to get JET ready for its 2019 experiments. Congratulations to the test bed team on the milestone and for their vital work on JET.