ITER - The build begins

With construction starting of the International Thermonuclear Experimental fusion Reactor, the world has taken a step towards our goal of harnessing fusion energy...
13 August 2020
Presented by Adam Murphy
Production by Chris Smith.


radioactivity symbol overlaid on the sun


The world took a step towards our goal of harnessing nuclear fusion as an energy source last week when the construction officially began of ITER. This is the new International Thermonuclear Experimental fusion Reactor. The project was launched by Reagan and Gorbachev as a collaboration back in 1985, and now 35 countries are involved making parts for the reactor, which is being assembled at Cadarache, in France. It will take years to construct. Fusion is regarded as a promising energy source because it’s what makes stars - including our Sun - shine. There, at high temperatures and pressures, smaller atoms are squeezed together to form larger atoms and energy - sunlight - is released in the process. If we could make it happen sustainably on Earth, it could be a clean source of energy because the raw materials to make it work are plentiful, it’s potentially carbon neutral, and the waste products are much safer than the highly radioactive material resulting from the present generation of nuclear power stations. Michel Claessens is the author of the book ITER: The Giant Fusion Reactor. He spoke to Adam Murphy about the project...


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