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

  • Assembly | Set of handling tools for in-vessel installation finalized

    Inside of a test facility that reproduces the volume and geometry of the ITER vacuum vessel environment, a team from CNIM Systèmes Industriels has dem [...]

    Read more

  • 360° image of the week | The assembly theatre

    Ever since it was invented almost two centuries ago, photography has tried to capture what the human eye actually sees. Despite huge progress achieved, it has n [...]

    Read more

  • Science | Favourable impurity dynamics in ITER confirmed by experiment

    Recent studies at the JET tokamak confirm the physics basis for tungsten transport at the edge of fusion-producing plasmas in ITER and the project's strategy fo [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | 15th D-shaped coil delivered

    Fifteen out of ITER's 19 D-shaped toroidal field coils have been delivered. Toroidal field coils are among the largest and heaviest components of the ITER machi [...]

    Read more

  • Spinoffs | Japan develops first high-output, multi-frequency gyrotron

    Building off expertise developed in the supply of high-power, high-frequency gyrotrons for the ITER Project and the JT-60SA tokamak, Japan's National Insti [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

History

Fusion and The Queen

The 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II spanned a time of incredible change and transformation in the world, and not the least in technology and the sciences. Twice, her official duties led her to visit laboratories that were at the vanguard of fusion research.

The JET tokamak was officially inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II on 9 April 1984, ''In an energy-hungry world,'' she declared, ''the JET may be a step along the road towards a virtually unlimited source of electric power.'' Directly behind the Queen in this photo is French President François Mitterrand. (Click to view larger version...)
The JET tokamak was officially inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II on 9 April 1984, ''In an energy-hungry world,'' she declared, ''the JET may be a step along the road towards a virtually unlimited source of electric power.'' Directly behind the Queen in this photo is French President François Mitterrand.


At the vanguard of fusion research in the late 1950s, Zeta was a ''circular pinch'' machine. But this species proved to belong to an evolutionary dead end, as the tokamak rapidly became the most promising configuration from the late 1960s on. (Click to view larger version...)
At the vanguard of fusion research in the late 1950s, Zeta was a ''circular pinch'' machine. But this species proved to belong to an evolutionary dead end, as the tokamak rapidly became the most promising configuration from the late 1960s on.
Through more than 600 patronages, Queen Elizabeth II supported and encouraged organizations carrying out vital work to improve the human condition, including organizations and professional institutions advancing science and technology. It is no wonder that on two occasions, her path crossed that of fusion science—a nascent field of research in which UK researchers were playing an important part. 

She was only 31 when she was introduced for the first time to fusion research during a visit to the Harwell Atomic Energy Research Establishment in 1957. The Zeta project—a ''circular pinch'' fusion machine that operated at Harwell between 1957 and 1968—was at the time of its construction by far the largest and most powerful fusion device in the world.

In April 1984, Her Majesty officially inaugurated the Joint European Torus (JET) at Culham, pronouncing the following statement to an audience that included French President Francois Mitterand and numerous other dignitaries. "In an energy-hungry world, the JET may be a step along the road towards a virtually unlimited source of electric power. I am delighted to be able to applaud this magnificent technical achievement, the full potential of which is still to be fully revealed."

Videos exist of both events. For the 1957 visit to Harwell and Zeta, click here. For the 1984 opening of JET at Culham, click here.



return to the latest published articles