Is ITER dependent on JT-60SA operation?

ITER and JT-60SA are separate and separately-managed experiments. Their experimental aims complement each other, and are intended to speed up the realisation of fusion as an energy source, but they can each operate independantly of one another. ITER is, however, the essential element of the programme.

JT-60SA is intended to allow faster investigation of promising plasma performance and phenomena discovered on ITER. ITER is a nuclear plant and due to licensing regulations and radiation levels is limited in the modifications that can be accomplished in a certain time. JT-60SA does not need licensing and has very low radiation levels, and can be modified more easily, and thus can follow up more ideas in a given period of time. This is expected to help ITER rapidly identify the best path to optimum operation.

JT-60SA can also exploit results from ITER to investigate how to optimise power reactor operation. ITER is bound to make consistent pulses to give good statistical results in nuclear testing of blanket modules for DEMO. JT-60SA can place more emphasis on optimising plasma performance towards economic DEMO operation. This should enable a better choice of DEMO reactor parameters than if ITER were working alone.