The Joint European Torus (JET) reactor, the world's largest fusion experiment, is again active. Previously on hold, the project is restarting thanks to the completion of a newly lined vessel that should allow for a full-scale fusion experiment, according to a report in MIT's Technology Review.
The new lining is made of tiles of light metal beryllium, which should allow the vessel to withstand the conditions needed for a self-sustaining fusion reaction. It will also allow for laser-based fusion experiments.
The vessel is known as a tokamak, which is a device for carrying out magnetic confinement fusion. According to Technology Review, its "doughnut-shaped reactor contains plasma made form hydrogen that's squeezed by powerful magnetic fields." It's this pressure and heat that causes the hydrogen nuclei to fuse with helium, resulting in a bust of energy and the release of high-energy neutrons.
For more, check out the full article in Technology Review. You can also visit the European Fusion Development Agreement site here for videos, a photo gallery, and more information about the JET experiment.