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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • ITER Design Handbook | Preserving the vital legacy of ITER

    The contributions that ITER is making to fusion physics and engineering—through decades of decisions and implementation—are delivering insights to the fusion co [...]

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  • Electron cyclotron heating | Aligning technology and physics

    ITER, like other fusion devices, will rely on a mix of external heating technologies to bring the plasma to the temperature necessary for fusion. At a five-day [...]

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  • Poloidal field magnets | The last ring

    As the massive ring-shaped coil inched its way from the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility, where it was manufactured, to the storage facility nearby where i [...]

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  • Heat rejection | White "smoke" brings good news

    Like a plume of white smoke rising from a cardinals' conclave to announce the election of a new pope, the tenuous vapour coming from one of the ITER cooling cel [...]

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  • WEC 2024 | Energy on centre stage

    The global players in the energy sector convened in Rotterdam last week for the 26th edition of the World Energy Congress (WEC). The venue was well chosen, wit [...]

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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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