(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor

(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor


International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor


  • International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is a collaboration of 35 nations launched in 1985.It is located in France.
  • It aims to build the world’s largest tokamak to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy.

The ITER Collaboration

  • The first step towards ITER was set in motion at the Geneva Superpower Summit in November 1985, when the idea of a collaborative international project to develop fusion energy for peaceful purposes was conceived. The collaboration expanded later to include seven members, viz., European Union, USA, Russia, Japan, China, Korea and India.
  • ITER is located at Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance, in the south of France. Industrial capability and Indian domestic effort in Fusion Research were the stepping stones for India being invited to join this prestigious scientific collaboration. EU, being the host contributes 45% of the project; all other members including India contribute 9.09% of the project. In kind contribution from participating nations is a key feature of ITER whereby industries from all members have the opportunity to develop key technologies for future reactors.
  • All members shall have full access to the Intellectual Property generated from construction and operation of ITER. Indian participation in ITER gives us access to the gains of a Mega Science Project, as it would have been impossible for any one member to construct such a large and complex project on one’s own.

Goals of ITER

ITER aims to build and demonstrate the following to lay the foundations for tokamak-based fusion power plants:

  • To produce 500 MW of fusion power from 50 MW of input heating power Q≥10.
  • To sustain fusion through internal heating, i.e., self sustained reaction.
  • To demonstrate the feasibility of producing tritium, as well as heat-extraction to mimic a real fusion power plant environment.
  • To control the plasma and fusion reactions to establish the safety of a fusion device.
  • To test technologies such as heating, control, diagnostics, cryogenics and remote maintenance to bridge the gap between today’s smaller-scale experimental fusion device and fusion power plants of the future.

In order to pursue the above vision a project named ITER India was created within the Institute for Plasma Research with the following objectives:

  • Deliver the systems and equipments that are Indian in kind contribution to ITER, meeting required quality and standards of the International project.
  • Conduct necessary R&D in areas, where necessary, for the in-kind deliveries.
  • Work with Indian industry to complement their abilities for Indian deliveries.
  • Interaction with academia and industry for developing the R&D in fusion relevant areas.
  • Develop and maintain knowledge from ITER.



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Courtesy: Science Reporter