Fusion power density demonstrated

We have long focused on power density as the central arrow of energy system evolution. The recent achievement of the Joint European Torus (JET) to set a new fusion energy record of 69.26 megajoules of heat released during a single pulse over six seconds from only 0.21 milligrams of fuel, equalling the energy released from burning 2 kilograms of coal, prompts us to update our classic figure, below and as a pdf. Thanks to long-time PHE research associate Dr. Nadedja M. Victor, now at US DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Fuel mass per energy, including nuclear fuels. Economies of scale favor fuels suited to higher power density, thus decarbonization and finally nuclear sources, at least 10,000 times more compact than hydrocarbons.  The recent JET fusion experiment achieved density 10,000,000 times coal  with deuterium-tritium fuel.  Note: *CANDU is a pressurized heavy water reactor.  Sources of data:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density and https://euro-fusion.org/eurofusion-news/dte3record/.  Figure prepared by N.M.Victor, 2/9/2024.  Program for the Human Environment, The Rockefeller University.