Hotter than a thousand volcanoes
Who would have thought that a long and passionate kiss under a starry sky could provide for an interesting introduction to fusion energy? At least that's how French Public Television FR3 saw it back in 1992: a beautiful woman in an evening dress whispering "I've seen scores of stars" and a tuxedo-clad jeune premier inquiring: "But do you know how stars burn?"
The early nineties were an important time in the history of fusion. In November 1991, JET became the first experiment to produce controlled fusion power. The following July, the four original ITER Parties - Europe, Russia, the US and Japan - launched the Engineering Design Activities that opened to way to the implementation of the project.
The French documentary entitled "Hotter than a thousand volcanoes" is an objective and at times fascinating account of the state of fusion research seventeen years ago. It features many of the key actors of the ITER project, such as Paul-Henri Rebut, director of JET at the time, and Robert Aymar, then director of fusion research at CEA. We even get a glimpse of David Campbell, ITER's assistant deputy director-general for Fusion Science and Technology, as JET staff celebrates the historical discharge—David was program leader for the JET experiments in November 1991.
This documentary, which lay forgotten in a dust-covered box at Tore Supra, brings us the excitement of fusion research at a defining moment—when the promises of a half-century of research materialized for two seconds in JET's vacuum vessel.
Click here to view the video...
Many more videos are available on the ITER video page...
return to Newsline #94