January 12th, 2017. We are in Naka, Japan, to celebrate the start of the magnetic system assembly of the JT-60SA nuclear fusion experimental reactor. The superconducting system is the heart of the reactor for the Broader Approach research project, the agreement between Europe and Japan aimed at a more rapid execution of the worldwide research program on nuclear fusion.

Italian companies, supervised and coordinated by ENEA, have brought a significant contribution in the supply of high-tech components for the project. Walter Tosto has manufactured the coil casings that constitute the superconducting magnet system. The other Italian companies are ASG Superconductors, who supplied 9 of the 18 coils, Ocem Energy Technology, Poseico and ICAS Consortium.

Among the speakers of the event, important authorities such as the General Director of the Energy Division of the European Community, Gerassimos Thomas, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Toshiei Mizuochi, the Governor of the prefecture of Ibaraki, Masaru Hashimoto and the Director of Fusion 4 Energy, Johannes Schwemmer.

Federico Testa, President of ENEA, highlighted the importance of this project for Italy in terms of competitiveness, scientific and economic impact: “Our country has achieved a high level of excellence and innovation in this great technological challenge for safe and clean energy, which will allow us to replace fossil fuels at competitive costs“.

Massimiliano Tacconelli, Manager of Walter Tosto SpA Nuclear Division, during his presentation expressed that the employment of advanced machinery and equipment but also and especially of the people who worked on the project with their expertise and commitment, have been the key for achieving this important milestone.

The JT-60SA project is in fact a significant example of international collaboration and synergy between industry and research organizations. Its completion is expected by 2019.