Enable Recite

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

  • Thermal shield | Practising the embrace

    In the ITER Assembly Hall, fitting tests are underway on two outboard thermal shield panels. Once paired, the 11-metre-tall, silver-plated components will [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | This circle is for the ring

    Another concentric circle has been drawn at the bottom of the machine assembly pit, formed by the temporary supports recently installed for poloidal field coil [...]

    Read more

  • Feeders | Multi-lane thruways into the machine

    The ITER superconducting coils thrive on a simple diet of electrical power and cooling fluids. The industrial installation on site is scaled to provide both, bu [...]

    Read more

  • Cryostat Workshop | Top lid enters the stage

    In this vast workshop over the past five years, the different sections of the ITER cryostat have been assembled and welded under India's responsibility. The bas [...]

    Read more

  • Blanket first wall | Manufacturing kicks off in Europe

    For one of the most demanding technological components of the ITER machine—the first wall of the blanket—the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy made the [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Sailing the high seas with Iter

Strollers at the Cercle Nautique et Touristique du Lacydon (CNTL) in Marseille's Vieux-Port, keep asking Iter's skipper for documentation on plasmas, fusion and tokamaks ... (Click to view larger version...)
Strollers at the Cercle Nautique et Touristique du Lacydon (CNTL) in Marseille's Vieux-Port, keep asking Iter's skipper for documentation on plasmas, fusion and tokamaks ...
When insurance broker Albert Heraud bought a sailboat in 1989, ITER was only one year into Conceptual Design Activities (CDA) and the project's acronym was unknown to the general public.

Few people were aware that "iter"—not the acronym but the noun—translated as "the way," "the route" or "the journey." One would have to have been a Latinist or theologian to know this.

Albert Heraud, however, was neither one nor the other. But as his daughter had just started studying Latin in lycée, she suggested that "Iter" would be quite an appropriate name for the family's sailboat.

"It was a perfect choice, and an original one," says the proud father today. "You cannot imagine how difficult it is to find a meaningful name for a boat ..."

And so it was that, for some 15 years, Iter sailed the seas, hopping from island to island in the Bay of Marseille, taking the Herauds to Corsica in the summer, unaware of the bigger ITER that was taking form and gathering momentum on the horizon.

"At some point, it must have been around 2004," Heraud recollects, "ITER began making headlines, especially here in the local press because of the possibility that Cadarache would host the project."

The realization that there was something else also named Iter—and something that promised to be very big—was embarrassing; wasn't it a bit pretentious for a nine-metre sailboat to bear the same name as a multi-billion-euro project?"

At about that time, strollers on the Vieux-Port Marina, in Marseille, began asking Heraud if he was sponsored by the ITER Organization  or if he could kindly provide them with documentation on fusion and tokamaks ...

It got to the point where Iter's skipper considered changing the name of his boat. "However, I decided not to. After all, I was here first, at least before everybody around me became aware of ... that other ITER."

Still, relations between Iter-the-sailboat and the ITER Project are not simple. When ITER Communications reached Heraud to enquire about his boat, he refused to believe someone from the project was actually calling him.

It took several phone calls, a lot of persuasion and the production of some evidence before he agreed to meet, on a bright Saturday morning, on Marseille's Vieux-Port where Iter is docked.

And until this article is published, he will not be completely certain this whole thing is not a hoax.

Special thanks to Stéphane Vartanian, of CEA/IRFM, for having spotted Iter in the Vieux-Port Marina.


return to the latest published articles