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The children of fusion

-Sabina Griffith

Stella Mirai, today... (Click to view larger version...)
Stella Mirai, today...
In its November, 1994 issue, the ITER EDA Newsletter issued by the IAEA in Vienna featured the birth of Stella Mirai, daughter of Enrica Rigoni and Ivone Benfatto. At that time, Ivone was working in Naka, Japan. That alone would not make a story. But the fact that Stella Mirai, Mirai meaning "beautiful flower bud", and her sister and brother are what we call fusion kids, children that where born and that grew up in various parts of the world depending on their father's changing engagements within the International Fusion Committee, is something special.

Gida Sheila, the elder daughter of the Benfatto family, was born in the UK when Ivone and his wife moved to Culham where Ivone worked as associated staff for JET. In December 1993 the couple moved to Naka and in June 1994 Enrica gave birth to Stella Mirai. A few years later they moved houses in Naka — and soon after son Elia Taro was born.

So, whenever Ivone and his wife moved to another country or just into a new house up the street, another child was born. Therefore it was somewhat of a high risk to leave Japan and to move to Garching. But taking risks is Ivone's profession: "I am a fusion scientist. If there is a problem, I solve it!"

A few weeks ago, on 12 June, Stella became 14 years old. If you want to read what Stella herself thinks about her changing life with and around ITER, click here...


return to Newsline #39