Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

News & Media

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 [...]

    Read more

  • 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 [...]

    Read more

  • 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 [...]

    Read more

  • 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 [...]

    Read more

  • 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 [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

COP 23

Placing ITER on the global scene

Kirsten Haupt

On the western bank of the Rhine and not far from the seat of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, world leaders are discussing how to push ahead for international joint action to tackle climate change and implement the 2015 Paris Agreement.

In Bonn, Germany, fusion is present through the ITER stand, where there is a lot of interest in the quest for a cleaner form of energy ... and in the Oculus Rift virtual tour of the construction site in southern France. (Click to view larger version...)
In Bonn, Germany, fusion is present through the ITER stand, where there is a lot of interest in the quest for a cleaner form of energy ... and in the Oculus Rift virtual tour of the construction site in southern France.
In complete silence, Fijian warriors walk into the assembly hall at the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference, COP23. They perform their traditional welcome ceremony of preparing and sharing the Kava drink made from the root of a local Fijian plant. The recipient is Barbara Hendricks, German Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

Looking very impressive even on a public display screen, it was a highly unusual opening for an international conference. But it drove home the message of urgency. As a Pacific island nation Fiji is extremely vulnerable to the impact of climate change; it is fitting indeed that Fiji is presiding over this conference, held from 6 to 17 November in the German city of Bonn.

"We are all sitting in the same canoe," said Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, at the opening ceremony. "So let's make the hard decisions that have to be made for the sake of ourselves and the generations to come."

A few kilometers from the high-level political discussions is the Bonn Zone, where the global relevance of climate change is also visible. Countless meetings, discussions and workshops take place in side rooms, at exhibition stands, over coffee or in the halls. It is here where government offices, civil society activists, scientists, youth organizations, industry as well as several international organizations present their ideas, initiatives and actions to deal with the consequences of climate change.

A bit of dexterity is required to enjoy the simpler, cardboard viewer. With this tool and a mobile phone one can access the 3D virtual tour of the ITER construction site from any location. (Click to view larger version...)
A bit of dexterity is required to enjoy the simpler, cardboard viewer. With this tool and a mobile phone one can access the 3D virtual tour of the ITER construction site from any location.
With its quest for carbon-free, safe and abundant energy, ITER fits right into this vibrant and buzzing atmosphere. The ITER stand hosts a constant stream of visitors wanting to know more about the process of nuclear fusion, the progress with the building of the research reactor, or the scientific and technological challenges this ambitious project is facing.

Most visitors, having never heard of the project, are impressed. A German police officer compares the ambitious endeavor with the TV series Star Trek. A visitor from Canada, after taking a virtual tour of construction, feels that the work on site alone is futuristic.

The ITER stand attracts younger people in particular as they realize the advantages, hopefully in their lifetime, of a new source of clean energy. They are also particularly receptive to ITER's collaborative model—35 nations joining efforts across continents and borders—as a way of addressing important global issues.

As COP23 enters its second week expectations are high. It is hoped that the conference—with its 25,000 participants from all around the globe—will find a common understanding on practical actions and solutions to the many climate-change-related problems.

There is agreement among all on one issue: time is short. As Frank Bainimarama said at the opening: "Let's get this job done."


return to the latest published articles