Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

Your email address will only be used for the purpose of sending you the ITER Organization publication(s) that you have requested. ITER Organization will not transfer your email address or other personal data to any other party or use it for commercial purposes.

If you change your mind, you can easily unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe option at the bottom of an email you've received from ITER Organization.

For more information, see our Privacy policy.

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • 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 [...]

    Read more

  • 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 [...]

    Read more

  • 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 [...]

    Read more

  • 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 [...]

    Read more

  • 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 [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Wanted

A home for STEP

The UK government is calling out to UK regions and communities for proposals for siting the future prototype fusion plant STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production).

STEP is a compact, spherical tokamak designed to demonstrate the commercial viability of fusion energy. The UK Atomic Energy Authority is aiming for the selection of a site by late 2022, a concept design by 2024, and completion of construction in 2040. (Click to view larger version...)
STEP is a compact, spherical tokamak designed to demonstrate the commercial viability of fusion energy. The UK Atomic Energy Authority is aiming for the selection of a site by late 2022, a concept design by 2024, and completion of construction in 2040.
STEP will have many of the features of a fully operational power station, including infrastructure and associated research and development facilities. It is likely to be a delivery project of comparable scale and value to a major operational power station, according to the website of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.

In the press release issued by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) on 2 December, UK Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma highlighted the advantages that the design, construction and operation of such a facility would represent to the winning community. "Communities around the country have an opportunity to secure their place in the history books as the home of STEP, helping the UK to be the first country in the world to commercialise fusion and creating thousands of highly skilled jobs to drive the UK Green Industrial Revolution."

In addition to the £222 million commitment made to the STEP program, the UK government has also promised to invest £184 million by 2025 in new fusion facilities, infrastructure and apprenticeships at the Culham science centre in Oxfordshire, home to the JET and MAST tokamaks.

The head of the ITER Science and Operation Domain, Tim Luce, welcomed the news. "It is gratifying to see the government make a firm commitment to continuing the historic leadership of the UK in magnetic fusion development. STEP is a third generation in the spherical tokamak approach to fusion pioneered at the Culham Laboratory. This approach is a close relative to the conventional tokamak realized in the JET facility at Culham and the ITER facility under construction in France. It promises lower capital cost for a power plant due to the lower magnetic field and compact size, but faces various engineering and physics challenges such as large stresses in the magnet structure, high heat fluxes to the wall, and difficulties with large enough tritium breeding for growing a fusion energy economy. Some of these issues are being addressed in the present generation of spherical tokamaks at Culham and Tokamak Energy in the UK and at Princeton University in the US. First plasma in the STEP facility in 2040 appears to be a realistic goal, assuming favourable and timely results in the present generation of spherical tokamaks."

Communities have until the end of March 2021 to submit their initial nominations, and the assessment will take approximately two years to complete.

Read the full press release here.

Read more about STEP here.



return to the latest published articles