International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)

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  • ITER (originally an acronym standing for International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) is an international tokamak (magnetic confinement fusion) research/engineering project designed to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of a full-scale fusion power reactor.
  • ITER is the next major experiment in the quest for fusion energy in which 500 MW of fusion power would be produced, about ten times more than the input power of 50MW.
  • The program is anticipated to last for 30 years - 10 years for construction and 20 years of operation - and cost approximately 10 billion euro (US412.1 billion), making it one of the most expensive modern techno-scientific megaprojects.
  • ITER will be based in Cadarache, France. It is technically ready to start construction, and the first plasma operation was expected in 2016.
  • The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project was admitted in India as a full partner in the consortium. This decision was taken at the ongoing ITER Negotiations at Jeju, Republic of Korea. The ambitious multi-billion dollar project aims to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of controlled nuclear fusion as a project energy source.
  • The partners in the project, i.e., the ITER parties, are the European Union represented by EURATOM, Japan, the people's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.
  • India is the seventh participating member of ITER.
  • India started its fusion research with the design and engineering of its first tokamak ADITYA in 1982. With the commissioning of ADITYA in 1989, full-fledged tokamak experiments began.
  • In 1995, the decision to build the second generation tokamak, namely the Superconducting Steady State tokamak (SST -1), aimed at plasma confining times longer than the record duration achieved so far, was taken.
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