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  • 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

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Neighbours

ITER-relevant WEST officially inaugurated

With its external steel structure a deep blue; its poloidal field coils bright red and its waveguides sparkling yellow, Tore Supra (now WEST) has always been an exceptionally colourful tokamak.

More than a year after producing its first plasma, the ITER-relevant WEST project was inaugurated amid a spectacular light show. (Click to view larger version...)
More than a year after producing its first plasma, the ITER-relevant WEST project was inaugurated amid a spectacular light show.
Last Friday, as WEST was being inaugurated, a spectacular light show added to its already rich palette.

Although it has been more than a year since it produced a first plasma, the rejuvenated, ITER-relevant machine officially came into the world last week. Two French Parliament members, several representatives of the local governments that contribute to the project's funding, and representatives of the Administrator-General of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) hailed the "beautiful collective adventure" that has led to WEST's realization.

"Acting as a test-bed for ITER , WEST will mitigate the risks associated with an all-metal divertor," explained Alain Bécoulet, the head of CEA's fusion department.

Located at CEA Cadarache, a stone's throw away from ITER, the WEST project was launched in 2008 at a time when Bernard Bigot, the present ITER Director-General, headed CEA. In-kind procurements from China, Korea, Japan, India and Europe contribute to more than a third of WEST's EUR 24 million budget.

The WEST project and its research plan are open to the international fusion community. The WEST platform will be run as a user facility, open to all ITER partners.


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