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The Energy Project that Could Change the World. The Nuclear Fusion Reactor being Built in France

Courtesy of ITER

Humanosity says…In southern France, 35 nations are collaborating to build the world’s largest tokamak, a magnetic fusion device that has been designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy based on the same principle that powers our Sun and stars.

The experimental campaign that will be carried out at ITER is crucial to advancing fusion science and preparing the way for the fusion power plants of tomorrow.

ITER will be the first fusion device to produce net energy. ITER will be the first fusion device to maintain fusion for long periods of time. And ITER will be the first fusion device to test the integrated technologies, materials, and physics regimes necessary for the commercial production of fusion-based electricity.

Thousands of engineers and scientists have contributed to the design of ITER since the idea for an international joint experiment in fusion was first launched in 1985. The ITER Members—China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States—are now engaged in a 35-year collaboration to build and operate the ITER experimental device, and together bring fusion to the point where a demonstration fusion reactor can be designed.

Humanosity says this video gives a brief overview of one of the most important energy projects anywhere in the world. A consortium of 35 nations is collaborating to build a nuclear fusion reactor that will serve to demonstrate that feasibility of fusion energy.

Fusion energy is seen as crucial to meeting the future energy needs of the world. However, it is fiendishly difficult to achieve, much more so than the type of nuclear energy we are more familiar with, namely fission.

Fusion is how the sun and all stars produce their energy. In the huge pressures and temperatures at the heart of a star, hydrogen nuclei collide and fuse to produce helium and in the process release a tremendous amount of energy.

To do this on earth the reactor being built at ITER will need to generate temps in excess of 100 million degrees celsius in a plasma that is confined by powerful magnetic fields.

Whilst a number of experimental reactors have achieved fusion no one has yet managed to get more energy out of the reaction than is put in.

This is where ITER comes in. According to ITER the reactor when up and running will aim to be the first to produce a net energy gain.

Photo courtesy of ITER

The world record for fusion power is held by the European tokamak JET. In 1997, JET produced 16 MW of fusion power from a total input heating power of 24 MW (Q=0.67). ITER is designed to produce a ten-fold return on energy (Q=10) or 500 MW of fusion power from 50 MW of input heating power. ITER will not capture the energy it produces as electricity, but—as first of all fusion experiments in history to produce net energy gain—it will prepare the way for the machine that can.

If they can achieve their scientific and engineering goals then the result will be practically unlimited energy. The bonus is that the process produces a fraction of the radioactive waste associate with fission.

Read more about this incredible experiment at ITER

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