Quest advances to recreate sun's energy on Earth

Quest advances to recreate sun's energy on Earth”

Under construction in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, south France, the ITER site has been receiving huge first-of-a-kind components - in many cases weighing several hundred tons each and more than 15 meters long - produced by ITER consortium members in recent months.

The ITER project was launched in 2006 by 35 countries including the United States, Russia, China, Britain, Switzerland, India, Japan, South Korea, and the 27 members of the European Union.

In late May, the 1,250-ton soup bowl-shaped cryostat base - the heaviest single piece - of the ITER was positioned in the so-called tokamak pit near Cadarache in southern France, marking the official start of the main equipment installation of the largest worldwide scientific research cooperation project in the world, a Chinese group participating in the project had told Xinhua.

ITER's Director-General Bernard Bigot the project is "like assembling a three-dimensional puzzle" that follows a complex timeline as every aspect must perform together in extreme precision. This involves systems engineering, project management, machine assembly logistics, and risk management.

The ITER machine will be constructed from about a million components, and initial experiments are set to begin in December 2025.

Unlike existing fission reactors, which produce energy by splitting atoms, ITER would generate power by combining atoms at a temperature of 150 million degrees Celsius in a process similar to the nuclear fusion that produces the sun's energy.

Representatives from seven members of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project attended a ceremony on Tuesday.

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It could reach full power by 2035, but as an experimental project, it is not created to produce electricity.

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The project "seeks to create an artificial sun", said South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Among other elements, Korea is manufacturing four sectors of a vacuum vessel, a hermetically sealed chamber in which plasma particles, derived from heated hydrogen gas, spiral without touching walls.

President Emmanuel Macron of France hailed ITER as a "promise of peace", bringing together various countries to forego their differences for the 'common good'.

It demonstrates the willingness of the 35 partner countries of the ITER global research project to join together in an enduring way in their common fight against climate change.

"Taking note of the global participation of scientists and engineers, he (the prime minister) projected ITER to be a flawless illustration of the age-old Indian belief - Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - the entire world is working together for the betterment of mankind", a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said. He said a full price tag was hard to estimate because participating countries make their own contributions.

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