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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • The crown | Unique but inspired by history

    On the floor of the vast amphitheatre that will accommodate the ITER machine, one of the most complex and most strategic structures of the Tokamak Building is t [...]

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  • Image of the week | Moving into place

    The two quench tanks that were sitting in the holding area on the edge of the ITER premises near the car park moved onto the ITER platform today. A remotely [...]

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  • Construction | ENGAGE celebrates 8 years at ITER

    On 13 April, the ENGAGE consortium celebrated its eight-year anniversary at ITER. The celebration itself was unique: hosted at the offices of La Provence, the d [...]

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  • Plasma physics | Be clean, be strong

    To achieve maximum fusion efficiency in a tokamak device it is essential to limit the impurities in the plasma. But this can be a challenge, as interaction betw [...]

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  • Coil power supply | Switching network tested in Russia

    Plasma could not be created in the ITER vacuum vessel without switching network units, whose operation creates the voltage that 'ionizes*' the cloud of fuel ato [...]

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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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