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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Correction coils | First of 18 lowered

    In all tokamak devices, ITER included, small deviations in the shape or position of the magnets cause unwanted field perturbations that can affect plasma stabil [...]

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  • Top management | Youngeek Jung, head of construction

    What Youngeek Jung remembers distinctly about his childhood and teenage years is being hungry and cold. South Korea, where he was born in 1956, was in ruins. 'W [...]

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  • Central solenoid module | Tests and verifications prior to assembly

    In January next year, the 'most powerful magnet in the world' will begin taking shape. The first module of the Tokamak's central solenoid will be positioned on [...]

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  • Contract management | E-procurement helps to simplify and streamline

    The Procurement & Contracts Division at the ITER Organization is rolling out a new e-procurement tool that will simplify and streamline contract management [...]

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  • Cooling water plant | Partners work in lockstep to keep ITER cool

    Much of the cooling water plant is now ready for commissioning, thanks to a well-executed plan and close coordination among partners. 'Sooner or later, all heat [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Plasma seeking plasma



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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