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News announcement1 December 2023Directorate-General for Energy1 min read

EU and Japan celebrate start of operations of the JT-60SA fusion reactor and reaffirm close cooperation on fusion energy

© F4E and QST


The EU and Japan have today marked the start of operations of the biggest and most advanced tokamak-type fusion reactor in the world - JT-60SA located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. At an inauguration ceremony in Naka, the EU’s Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson and Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Mr. Masahito Moriyama reaffirmed their long-standing cooperation in the field of fusion energy, supporting the international effort to develop fusion energy, including through the ITER project and the Broader Approach activities.

Both sides underlined their support for the operation and technical upgrades of JT-60SA to continue producing groundbreaking research results, useful for ITER and for designing and constructing the fusion reactors of the future.

There was also a joint commitment to strengthen the JT-60SA International Fusion School (JIFS), successfully inaugurated in September 2023, to train young scientists and engineers and develop human resources necessary to achieve fusion energy in the future.


In parallel to their collaboration on the ITER project, the EU and Japan are working together on 3 fusion-related projects in the framework of the Broader Approach agreement. The projects, all located in Japan, aim to complement ITER and accelerate the development of fusion power. The work includes the construction of the JT-60SA fusion device, research into well-suited materials for use in future fusion reactors (IFMIF/EVEDA), and the setting-up of high performance computing resources to support research works for fusion, and of a remote operation room for ITER. The Broader Approach Agreement was signed in 2007 and a second phase of activities was launched in 2020. A study on the benefits of broader approach activities under the current agreement and the expected benefits of continued participation was published in May 2021.

The generation of fusion energy does not produce carbon dioxide - making it an important technology in the path to net zero emissions. The fusion reaction is intrinsically safe: it stops when the fuel supply or power source is shut down. It generates no high-level long-lived radioactive waste. Because of these characteristics, fusion qualifies as one of the next-generation energy sources that simultaneously addresses energy supply and environmental challenges.

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Publication date
1 December 2023
Directorate-General for Energy