VTT supplies detector components for the world’s largest fusion research reactor

New, more efficient silicon detectors

Situated in the UK, the Joint European Torus (JET) fusion research reactor’s neutral particle analyzer is currently equipped with scintillation detectors, which will be replaced with more efficient silicon detectors. The first prototypes of detector components developed at VTT are currently being tested.

The neutral particle detectors of JET will be replaced with silicon detectors. They are expected to be less sensitive to the radiation background than the current scintillation detectors, as well as faster, more radiation-stable and better capable of differentiating between various ion types.

First prototypes completed

The first prototypes of the detector components developed by VTT have been completed. The components are built on SOI wafers manufactured by Okmetic Oyj, a Finnish manufacturer of silicon wafers for the sensor and semiconductor industry. The detectors are currently undergoing detailed performance analysis and testing. The overall project is being coordinated by the Helsinki University of Technology (HUT).

Installation scheduled for 2009

Installation of the detector unit based on the new detectors is planned for 2009. JET, currently the world’s largest tokamak, will play an important role in supporting the experimental ITER fusion reactor. Roughly doughnut-shaped, the JET plasma has a major radius of approximately three metres and a minor radius of approximately one metre. The JET device stands 12 meters high and has a diameter of 15 metres. It is located in the UK, at the Culham Science Centre near Oxford.

Fusion energy is an exciting alternative for the generation of primary energy in particular. The advantages of fusion lie in its potential as a clean, safe and virtually limitless energy source.

In addition to HUT and VTT, the project also involves the cooperation of the Helsinki Institute of Physics (HIP). The project is being funded by EFDA and Tekes.

 


Additional information

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