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  • Remembering Bernard Bigot, ITER Director-General 2015-2022

    On the ITER site, the machinery of construction was humming just like on any weekday. Workers were concentrating on their tasks, laying rebar for new buildings [...]

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  • Tokamak assembly | Preparing for the Big Lift

    The distance was short but the challenge daunting: on Thursday last week, the first section of the plasma chamber was lifted 50 centimetres above its suppor [...]

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  • Image of the week | 13th toroidal field coil arrives from Europe

    The toroidal field coil procurement effort has been one of the longest of the ITER program, initiated by Procurement Arrangements signed in 2007 and 2008. Manuf [...]

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  • Diagnostics | Final Procurement Arrangement signed

    ITER Diagnostics reached an important milestone in December 2021 when it concluded the last Procurement Arrangement of the diagnostics program. After signing a [...]

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  • On site | A quick visit to the Control Building

    Work is progressing on the ITER Control Building, ergonomically designed for the 60 to 80 operators, engineers and researchers who will call it home.  [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Merry plasmas!

On 14 December, at 6:03 p.m., a flash of light illuminated the vacuum vessel of WEST, the rejuvenated Tore Supra tokamak designed to serve as a test bench for ITER.

Operational since 1988, the CEA-Euratom tokamak Tore Supra underwent a major transformation and became WEST (W Environment in Steady-state Tokamak), a test bench for ITER. The machine produced its first plasma on 14 December. (Click to view larger version...)
Operational since 1988, the CEA-Euratom tokamak Tore Supra underwent a major transformation and became WEST (W Environment in Steady-state Tokamak), a test bench for ITER. The machine produced its first plasma on 14 December.
This first plasma rewarded four years of hard work that involved stripping out the 30-year-old machine, adding magnetic coils to confine the originally circular plasma into a "D shape," and trading its carbon-carbon fibre (CFC) "limiter" for an ITER-like tungsten divertor.

Operators at the French Institute for Magnetic Fusion Research (IRFM) are now confident that they can move forward to the first experimental campaign, set to be launched in March 2017. The first phase of the campaign will explore heat load patterns and H mode transition; the second in October-December 2017 will focus on testing plasma-facing components under the high heat loads of ITER-grade plasmas.

On that very same day, Korea's National Fusion Research Institute (NFRI) announced that the KSTAR tokamak had achieved a record 70-second H-mode plasma. (Click to view larger version...)
On that very same day, Korea's National Fusion Research Institute (NFRI) announced that the KSTAR tokamak had achieved a record 70-second H-mode plasma.
On the very same day that the IRFM team was (discreetly) celebrating WEST's first plasma, another team, at the other end of the world, also had an achievement to announce: a record 70-second H-mode plasma had just been recorded by the Korean superconducting tokamak KSTAR.

One month earlier, in mid-November, the Chinese tokamak EAST had achieved a similar but slightly shorter 60-second steady-state high energy plasma.

Read more about WEST here.


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