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Latest ITER Newsline

  • Video | How does the ITER cryoplant work?

    Cold is essential to ITER—10,000 tonnes of superconducting magnets, the thermal shield that surrounds the machine, the cryopumps that achieve the high vacuum in [...]

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  • Component logistics | Consistency "from the cradle to the grave"

    There's a fun and easy way to demonstrate the importance of having all ITER parts properly tagged and identified in storage—organize a workshop and ask four com [...]

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  • Image of the week | Brewing storm

    In Provence, one gets tired of blue skies... so when the opportunity arises to capture the ITER site plunged in the darkness of an approaching storm, we rush to [...]

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  • Toroidal field coils | First cold test in Europe

    The first ITER toroidal field coil winding pack has spent nearly 20 days in a specially conceived cryostat at minus 193 °C (80 K), in a cold testing operation t [...]

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  • Central solenoid | All conductor received

    Officials from the US and Japanese fusion energy programs were at General Atomics' Magnet Technologies Center in California in early May to celebrate the delive [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

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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