The international ITER project for fusion: Why?

ITER is a large-scale scientific experiment that aims to demonstrate the technological and scientific feasibility of fusion energy.

 (Click to view larger version...)
The Q in the formula on the right symbolizes the ratio of fusion power to input power. Q ≥ 10 represents the scientific goal of the ITER project: to deliver ten times the power it consumes. From 50 MW of input power, the ITER machine is designed to produce 500 MW of fusion power—the first of all fusion experiments to produce net energy.

During its operational lifetime, ITER will test key technologies necessary for the next step: the demonstration fusion power plant that will prove that it is possible to capture fusion energy for commercial use.

A cut-away view of the ITER Tokamak, revealing the donut-shaped plasma inside of the vacuum vessel. (Click to view larger version...)
A cut-away view of the ITER Tokamak, revealing the donut-shaped plasma inside of the vacuum vessel.
The science going on at ITER—and all around the world in support of ITER—will benefit all of mankind.

We firmly believe that to harness fusion energy is the only way to reconcile huge conflicting demands which will confront humanity sooner or later.

The issue at stake is how to reconcile the imperative, constantly growing demand of the majority of the world's population to raise their standard of living ... with the enormous environmental hazards resulting from the present energy supply ...

... In our opinion, the use of fusion energy is a "must" if we want to be serious about embarking on sustainable development for future generations.

-Director-General Osamu Motojima, Opening address, Monaco International ITER Fusion Energy Days (MIIFED), 23 November 2010