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Latest ITER Newsline

  • Cryolines | Another day, another spool

    Having wedged his body and equipment into the cramped space between the ceiling and the massive pipe, a worker is busy welding two cryolines spools. A few metre [...]

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  • Image of the week | Bearings unveiled

    The construction teams are in the last stages of preparing the Tokamak pit for the first major operation of ITER machine assembly: the lowering of the cryostat [...]

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  • Technology | Perfecting tritium breeding for DEMO and beyond

    While ITER will never breed tritium for its own consumption, it will test breeding blanket concepts—the tools and techniques that designers of future DEMO react [...]

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  • Fusion world | Japan and Europe complete the assembly of JT-60SA

    The JT-60SA fusion experiment in Naka, Japan, is designed to explore advanced plasma physics in support of the operation of ITER and next-phase devices. After s [...]

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  • Manufacturing | Thermal shield milestone in Korea

    Six years after the start of fabrication, Korean contractor SFA has completed the last 40° sector of vacuum vessel thermal shield. The stainless steel panels, c [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Bringing the Research Plan up to date

David Campbell, head of the Science & Operations Department

The ITER Research Plan is an ITER baseline document which outlines the main lines of science and technology research derived from the project's mission goals.

About 25 leading physics experts from the Domestic Agencies and Members' fusion research centres and universities joined experts from the ITER Organization in a four-day workshop. (Click to view larger version...)
About 25 leading physics experts from the Domestic Agencies and Members' fusion research centres and universities joined experts from the ITER Organization in a four-day workshop.
It was initially developed during the ITER Design Review in 2007-2008 in order to analyze the experimental program towards high-fusion-gain deuterium-tritium operation. It was further elaborated in subsequent years to identify the main lines of physics R&D required to support the preparations for ITER operation, as well as to incorporate the main elements of the testing program for the test blanket modules (TBMs), which will provide the first tests of tritium breeding technology in the fusion environment.

Eventually, the ITER Research Plan will be expanded to encompass all of the science and technology research required to meet ITER's overall goal of demonstrating the scientific and technical feasibility of exploiting magnetic confinement fusion for the production of energy for peaceful purposes.

With the acceptance of the revised ITER baseline cost (ad referendum) and schedule by the ITER Council in November 2016, a study has been launched to bring major elements of the Research Plan up to date and to adapt the overall plan to the framework of the staged approach.

In the staged approach to assembling ITER, assembly phases will alternate with periods of operation as a way to minimize risk.

A preliminary workshop was held in July 2016 involving fusion science experts from the ITER Member communities and ITER Organization/Domestic Agency staff. The result was an initial analysis of the Research Plan within the staged approach.

Last week, many of the same experts met at the ITER Organization's Headquarters to develop the Research Plan in greater detail and to integrate an updated analysis of the TBM testing program. About 25 leading physics experts from the Domestic Agencies and the Members' fusion research centres and universities joined experts from the ITER Organization in a four-day workshop which analyzed the phases of ITER experimental operation leading to long-pulse, high fusion power production. Experts from ITER and the Members' test blanket module teams worked in parallel to adapt the test blanket module testing program to the staged approach.

The output from these activities will now be integrated into an overall framework for the revised Research Plan, and the scientists and engineers will get together again in March to begin drafting the updated document, which will form the basis for research and operations planning in the coming years as preparations towards First Plasma gather momentum.


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