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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Question of the week | Will fusion run out of fuel?

    One of the paradoxes of fusion, the virtually inexhaustible energy of the future, is that it relies on an element that does not exist—or just barely. Tritium, o [...]

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  • Managing data | Setting up a robust process

    Are the ITER systems and processes robust enough to manage the technical and project data for a program of ITER's complexity? Will quality information be made a [...]

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  • Image of the week | Bullseye

    Two perfectly circular structures, looking a lot like archery targets, have been installed on the west-facing wall of the Tokamak Complex. They are not for sh [...]

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  • Art and science | Seeking new perspectives on fusion

    Standing in the middle of the Tokamak Building, sound artist Julian Weaver positions his 3D microphone near one of the openings of the bioshield to record the s [...]

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  • Worksite photos | The view one never tires of

    For the past three-and a half years, ITER Communication has been documenting construction progress from the top of the tallest crane on the ITER worksite. Altho [...]

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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.


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