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Of Interest

See archived articles

The dream is alive

Sabina Griffith

The opening ceremony of the Fusion Tech Exhibition at this year's IAEA Fusion Energy Conference held in Daejeon, Korea: NFRI President G.S Lee; ITER Director-General Osamu Motojima; Korean Minister of Education, Science and Technology Ju-Ho Lee; Prime Minister Hwang-Sik Kim; IAEA Deputy Director General Werner Burkat; Mayor of Daejeon Hong-Chul Yum. (Click to view larger version...)
The opening ceremony of the Fusion Tech Exhibition at this year's IAEA Fusion Energy Conference held in Daejeon, Korea: NFRI President G.S Lee; ITER Director-General Osamu Motojima; Korean Minister of Education, Science and Technology Ju-Ho Lee; Prime Minister Hwang-Sik Kim; IAEA Deputy Director General Werner Burkat; Mayor of Daejeon Hong-Chul Yum.
More than 1,500 scientific experts met in Daejeon, Korea last week to discuss nuclear fusion as a source of energy. This 23rd IAEA Fusion Energy Conference (FEC) brought together the largest group of physicists working in the field to date. "I am convinced that it will be recorded as a landmark conference addressing the environmental problems of our planet," ITER Director-General, Osamu Motojima, said in his opening remarks. "Here in Daejeon we are witnessing the integration of physics and engineering that is necessary for the development of new energy technologies. There is no longer any doubt that fusion energy is an achievable goal. The dream is alive!"

The IAEA FEC, called by some the "Olympics of Fusion Energy," is the most renowned international conference on a fusion scientist's calendar. Held biennially, with scientists, engineers and policymakers attending from all around the globe, experience and future steps are shared. "Thanks to hard work, the world successfully reached the experiment level," IAEA Deputy Director-General Werner Burkart said in his opening speech. "However, we need to go beyond what we have achieved. We have to secure the commercial validity of fusion by 2040-2050 and I believe that we can do so. Fusion energy is the future of humankind."

In his keynote address, Korea's Prime Minister Kim Hwang-Sik stated that "if nuclear fusion energy comes into commercial use, the challenge over energy shortages will be removed. If this happens, governments will be able to save money and make investments in other humanitarian areas." Gyung-Su Lee, Chairman of the International Fusion Research Council, added: "This event clearly opened the ITER era and stirred the passion for fusion energy development."



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