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  • Neutral beam power | "Outside and beyond anything"

    In an empty plot on the ITER platform, preparatory works have started for the construction of two new buildings. From the outside, they will look like ordinary [...]

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  • Systems installation | Anticipation and flexibility

    It is a subterranean world of scaffolding and supports, piping and cables, concrete and embedded plates. To the untrained eye, the activity underway in the base [...]

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  • Image of the week | Keeping an eye on the hot (double) pancake

    An ITER ring-shaped coil begins its existence as cable-in-conduit conductor, wound into 'double pancakes' that are eventually stacked one upon the other to form [...]

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  • Cryostat thermal shield | A "strong back" for a fragile component

    The lower cylinder thermal shield is a large silver-plated component, circular in shape and five metres tall, which fits inside the depression in the cryostat b [...]

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  • Diagnostic shielding | B4C ceramic bricks prove their worth

    A number of materials can effectively shield diagnostic equipment from the neutron flux coming from the plasma. To find the best one, the diagnostics team at IT [...]

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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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