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From 2015 to 2019, scientists and engineers will progressively integrate, assemble, and test the ITER plant and fusion device.

In the first phase of assembly, prior to First Plasma, the vacuum vessel and magnets will be installed, as well as limited electron cyclotron heating and a subset of ancillary systems and diagnostics. Integrated commissioning will ensue to ensure readiness for First Plasma operations.

After First Plasma, a second assembly phase will follow, in which the main in-vessel components will be installed (blanket, divertor, in-vessel coils) as well as further heating systems (ion cyclotron, electron cyclotron and neutral beam) and diagnostics.

ITER operation is expected to last for 20 years. First, a several-year "shakedown" period of operation in pure hydrogen is planned during which the machine will remain accessible for repairs and the most promising physics regimes will be tested. This phase will be followed by operation in deuterium with a small amount of tritium to test wall-shielding provisions. Finally, scientists will launch a third phase with increasingly frequent operation with an equal mixture of deuterium and tritium, at full fusion power.

ITER Dates

2007—2009     Land clearing and levelling
2010—2014     Ground support structure and seismic foundations for the Tokamak
2014—2019     Construction of the Tokamak Complex and plant buildings
2015—2021     Largest components are transported along the ITER Itinerary
2017—2020     Assembly of the ITER Tokamak and plant
2020—2023     End of construction, start of operation
2027                Deuterium-tritium operation begins
2027—2042     20 years of fusion experiments