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Latest ITER Newsline

  • Tokamak cooling system | Final design achieved

    To remove the heat from the components closest to the plasma, the tokamak cooling water system will rely on over 36 kilometres of nuclear-grade piping and fitti [...]

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  • Worksite progress | Spot the differences

    Let's play the "spot the differences" game between these two general views of the ITER site, one taken last Thursday 18 January, the other three month [...]

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  • Inventions | Where have all the neutrons gone?

    It is not unusual in the course of a work day at the world's largest scientific experiment to rely on creativity to resolve the challenge at hand. But less comm [...]

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  • Neutral beam test facility | Europe delivers first-of-a-kind equipment

    Tullio Bonicelli, in charge of Europe's contributions to the ITER neutral beam heating system, calls them "beyond state-of-the-art components." The hi [...]

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  • Vacuum vessel | First segment completed in Korea

    The technically challenging fabrication of the ITER vacuum vessel is progressing in Korea, where Hyundai Heavy Industries has completed the first poloidal segme [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

Jamie gets a slice of the True Reactor

R.A.

A month and a half ago young Jamie Edwards, a student at Penwortham Priory Academy in Lancashire (UK), got his proverbial 15 minutes of world fame. In fact, he got much more than that: tens of thousands of web and newspaper articles, and radio and TV interviews that culminated in an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman (CBS), broadcast live from Broadway in New York ...

Upon his visit at ITER, Jamie received a very special gift—a sample of toroidal field coil niobium-tin conductor from ITER Director-General Osamu Motojima. (Click to view larger version...)
Upon his visit at ITER, Jamie received a very special gift—a sample of toroidal field coil niobium-tin conductor from ITER Director-General Osamu Motojima.
Jamie Edwards, the media trumpeted, had built a fusion reactor. As the 13 year old explained to Letterman, he did it "because it seemed cool ... I guess..." The fact that what Jamie had built in his school lab was not exactly a fusion reactor, but rather an ambitious experiment with deuterium gas and high voltage, didn't seem to bother the media—the title "13 year old builds fusion reactor" made for a great, and selling, headline.

Like David Letterman, many people had never heard of fusion or fusion reactors; now, thanks to planetary coverage of Jamie's success in the laboratory, they have.

As it takes determination, know-how, precision and ingenuity to build and operate a school-lab fusion experiment, Jamie certainly deserves to be congratulated. "We should not hold back from praising Jamie for a wonderful scientific experiment," said ITER neutron specialist Michael Loughlin, who was asked to comment on the teenager's story in a recent issue of the ITER Newsline.

To celebrate his success, and encourage Jamie's early interest in the field of fusion, the European Domestic Agency for ITER invited Jamie to visit the people building the largest fusion reactor in the world. Joining a group of 50 media representatives that spent two days at ITER Headquarters this week, the Lancashire student—who recently turned 14—did what all journalists and budding fusion students are supposed to do: he listened, asked questions and took notes. And due to his recent fame, he also gave a few interviews ...

As a spectacularly efficient fusion promoter and a member of the very generation that ITER and the fusion community are working for, Jamie was entitled to a very special gift—a sample of toroidal field coil niobium-tin conductor offered in person by ITER Director-General Osamu Motojima.

The sample will be a precious addition to his assortment of nuclear-related artefacts—it will sit on a shelf in his room amid a collection of early 20th century uranium glassware.


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