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Scientists at a laboratory in England have shattered the record for the amount of energy produced during a controlled, sustained fusion reaction. The production of 59 megajoules of energy over five seconds at the Joint European Torus (JET) experiment in England has been called “a breakthrough” by some news outlets and caused quite a lot of excitement among physicists.

But a common line regarding fusion electricity production is that it is “always 20 years away.”

In an article for The Conversation, associate and assistant professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, David Donovan and Livia Casali explain the process of fusion reactions and why the inner walls of the fusion reactor were vital to the recent JET breakthrough. Read the full article on The Conversation.


UT is a member of The Conversation, an independent source for news articles and informed analysis written by the academic community and edited by journalists for the general public. Through our partnership, we seek to provide a better understanding of the important work of our faculty.


Lindsey Owen (865-974-6375,