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Latest ITER Newsline

  • Bookmark | The Future of Fusion Energy

    To write about fusion is to walk a fine line between the temptation of lyricism and the arid demands of scientific accuracy. Whereas the general media tends to [...]

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  • Image of the week |The shine of silver

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  • JT-60SA | "ITER satellite" to begin operating next year

    In a major assembly milestone for the JT-60SA tokamak, the 12-metre-tall central solenoid was successfully installed by overhead crane on 8 May. Japanese televi [...]

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  • ITER physics school | Ten years of lectures now available

    The lectures from ten ITER International Schools held since 2007 have been collected and are now available through a dedicated webpage on the ITER website. I [...]

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  • "Vigyan Samagam" | India showcases megascience

    From micro to macro—specifically, from the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) that will study neutrino mass ordering events lasting 10-43 seconds, to the La [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Plasma seeking plasma

R.A.



It has been an unusual July so far in Provence. Thunderstorms have broken over the site almost every afternoon, causing work to be stopped until the storm front moves on.

Storms over the ITER platform do not come unannounced: when one approaches, the French storm forecast agency Metéorage (a subsidiairy of Météo-France) sends an alert to security personnel, who activate the appropriate siren. Depending on the distance of the incoming storm, the siren sounds an "orange alert," stopping only the heavy activity, or a "red alert," requiring full site evacuation.

This spectacular bolt of lightning was captured last Wednesday from a fifth floor window in the ITER Headquarters building after a red alert was sounded.

Lightning is a high current electric discharge in the air that generates a ramified column of plasma. This specific bolt might have been looking for its kindred—the plasma that will be created within the ITER vacuum vessel. The place was right but the time ...  some seven years too early.


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