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Also in this issue

  • Cross-section of a niobium-tin "billet" produced in Korea for ITER's toroidal field coils. Billets are drawn down to strands of less than one millimetre in diameter to form the building blocks of the superconductors. © Peter Ginter

    Superconductivity: it gets the current flowing

    To create the optimal conditions for fusion in a tokamak, the hot gas (plasma) must be confined in the centre of the vessel. This is the job of powerful magnet [...]

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  • Six storyes high, made of 800 tons of steel, the Sector Sub-Assembly tools will work in concert to equip the nine sectors of the vacuum vessel before their transfer to the Tokamak Pit.

    Twin giants to pre-assemble the vacuum vessel

    As the doors of the Assembly Building open to admit the first vacuum vessel sectors shipped from manufacturing sites in Europe or Korea, two imposing custom-bu [...]

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  • 14,000 m³ of concrete, 3,600 tons of rebar, 8 months of work—the "floor" of the Tokamak Complex was finalized on 27 August 2014.

    Last pour, first delivery

    Two milestones in ITER construction were achieved as summer 2014 drew to a close—the last pour of the Tokamak Complex basemat on 27 August and the delivery of [...]

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  • By reflecting the hues of the passing seasons, the mirror-like stainless steel will express, according to ENIA, "the precision of the research work being performed inside of the buildings."

    Mirror, mirror on the platform

    How much latitude does an architect have when considering how best to integrate the ITER buildings into the surrounding landscape? Not a lot, says architect S [...]

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Mag Archives

1,300 visitors "at home" at ITER

When preparation work began on the platform in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance more than seven years ago, ITER was a mystery for many people in neighbouring towns and villages
 
Since that date, some 70,000 people, most of them local residents, have been welcomed to the construction site. ITER is no longer a "UFO"; as more and more local companies have become involved in its progress, the project has become part of day-to-day reality.
Whatever their age or their knowledge of science and technology, the 1,300 visitors to ITER during the Open Doors Day 4 October were able to measure the scale of the project, its challenges and its potential. (Click to view larger version...)
Whatever their age or their knowledge of science and technology, the 1,300 visitors to ITER during the Open Doors Day 4 October were able to measure the scale of the project, its challenges and its potential.
This change in the public's perception could be felt, last Saturday, as some 1,300 visitors flocked to the fifth Open Doors Day since 2009.

Visitors now seem "at home" at ITER, more comfortable when asking questions about the science, the technology, the delays and "chances of success" of the project.

Whatever their age or their background they also seem to share in the excitement of this unique scientific endeavour. "Do you really mean that fusion could one day provide an unlimited source of energy?" asked many a visitor.

Available to answer these questions and many others, to comment on the videos and the mockups in the Visitors Centre, and to take participants on a tour of the worksite were 22 ITER staff volunteers.

Explaining ITER to the public is always an enriching experience: physicists are often challenged to answer questions simpler than the ones they had anticipated ... and for this very reason that much more difficult to answer.

The Open Doors Day was also largely covered by the media: France Télévision aired a two-minute piece on the evening news locally and the daily newspaper La Provence ran a full page on the "project that could change the course of history."

On the front page, a large picture showed a young boy pressing his mouth to the display case containing a model of the ITER Tokamak. The title proclaimed: "The public embraces the ITER Project!"

Click here to see a gallery of Open Door Day images.