On the banks of the Durance River, halfway between Aix-en-Provence and Manosque, a unique community has taken root—some 500 people from 35 countries who have arrived with their languages, cultural references, traditions and work habits. [...]
In its quest for fusion energy, ITER is not striving alone. Tokamaks in Europe, the United States, Korea and Japan have been the front-runners, exploring the road that ITER will begin to experiment in less than ten years. [...]
The number of visitors has been steadily increasing since 2007, with over 67,000 cumulative visitors to the site.
More than 15,000 visitors have been welcomed to the ITER site in 2013. Visits are organized by both the ITER Organization Visit Team (general public) and Agence Iter France (students).
While the ITER website has often been the first point of contact for the public and the fusion community, it is during an ITER visit that visitors get a chance to put a "face" to the Project. The purpose of the visits is to educate the public on fusion basics, acquaint them with the current status of the Project and take them on a tour of the construction site.
The ITER Visit Team welcomes visitors of all backgrounds — from fusion experts to professionals, government delegations and the general public — drawing on the participation of many ITER staff members who volunteer their time as well as logistics support from Agence Iter France and Fusion for Energy.
From the 10 year old hearing about fusion for the first time, to the fusion experts finally seeing their research come to fruition, each ITER visit is specially tailored. Common questions range from "When will we have commercial fusion reactors?" and "How much does the ITER Project cost?" to "Where do we get tritium?" and "Why do we need it?"
The number of visitors has been steadily increasing since 2007, with over 67,000 cumulative visitors to the site. School visits account for 53 percent of the visits in 2013, with the general public coming in at 21 percent and professionals making up the third largest category of visitors at 9 percent.