WEST (formerly Tore Supra)

Coordinates: 43°42′13″N 5°45′54″E / 43.703626°N 5.764968°E / 43.703626; 5.764968
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43°42′13″N 5°45′54″E / 43.703626°N 5.764968°E / 43.703626; 5.764968

WEST fish-eye lens.jpg
WEST plasma chamber
Device typeTokamak
LocationCadarache, France
Technical specifications
Major radius2.5 m
Minor radius0.50 m
Magnetic field3.7 T (toroidal)
Heating power17 MW
Year(s) of operation2016–

WEST, Tungsten (chemical symbol "W") Environment in Steady-state Tokamak, (formerly Tore Supra)[1] is a French tokamak that originally began operating as Tore Supra after the discontinuation of TFR (Tokamak of Fontenay-aux-Roses) and of Petula (in Grenoble). The original name came from the words torus and superconductor, as Tore Supra was for a long time the only tokamak of this size with superconducting toroidal magnets, allowing the creation of a strong permanent toroidal magnetic field. After a major upgrade to install tungsten walls and a divertor, the tokamak was renamed WEST.

WEST is situated at the nuclear research center of Cadarache, Bouches-du-Rhône in Provence, one of the sites of the Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique. Tore Supra operated between 1988 and 2010. Its goal was to create long-duration plasmas. The upgrade to WEST took place between 2013 and 2016. WEST has been operating since 2016.

Tore Supra holds the record of the longest plasma duration time for a tokamak (6 minutes 30 seconds[2] and over 1000 MJ of energy injected and extracted in 2003), and it allowed researchers to test critical parts of equipment such as plasma facing wall components or superconducting magnets that will be used in its successor, ITER.

Device parameters[edit]

Tore Supra as of 1988:

Tore Supra as of 2006 (parameters essentially the same):[3]

  • Weight of NbTi superconductor : ~45 tonnes
  • Maximum magnetic field on the conductor : 9.0 T
  • Total magnetic energy : 600 MJ
  • Weight of magnetic circuit : 830 tonnes

WEST as of 2018:[4]

Tore Supra Operation 1988-2010[edit]

By 1998 it had produced over 20,000 plasma shots of up to 2 minutes duration.[5]

Between 2000 and 2002 the vacuum chamber was completely renewed/relined.[6] increasing the power extraction by active cooling to 25 MW (to allow longer plasma duration).[7]

In Dec 2003 it achieved a record 6.5 minute plasma[2] This was plasma shot #32299, Lower hybrid power ~2.9 MW, total injected energy ~1.1 GJ, plasma current ~500 kA, nl ~ 2.6x1019/m2.[5]


Beginning in March 2013[8] Tore Supra underwent an extensive refit, including new poloidal coils to achieve diverted operation, a new cooling system, and all-metal cladding, mainly for experiments on tungsten divertor technology for ITER.[9] The reactor was renamed WEST, for "Tungsten (chemical symbol "W") Environment in Steady-state Tokamak".[10] WEST achieved first plasma in December 2016.[11]


  1. ^ "WEST - Tungsten (W) Environment in Steady-state Tokamak". WEST: Tungsten (W) Environment in Steady-state Tokamak. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  2. ^ a b 6.5-minute pulse in Tore Supra. Dec 2003
  4. ^ "WEST main plasma parameters". WEST: Tungsten (W) Environment in Steady-state Tokamak. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  5. ^ a b Tore Supra, description, results. Select 6. main/major results
  6. ^ Chambre à vide de Tore Supra
  7. ^ Tore Supra, description, results. Select 4. Extracting power
  8. ^ At 25 Tore Supra is looking WESTward
  9. ^ First plasma for WEST fusion reactor (World Nuclear News, 19 December 2016)
  10. ^ WEST winds up for fusion. Dec 2015
  11. ^ WEST: first plasma shot announcement

External links[edit]