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Advanced Technologies for Industry

ITER project enters its assembly phase to build the world's largest tokamak

In July 2020, the ITER project entered its assembly phase in the South of France (Saint Paul-lez-Durance). ITER members consist of the European Union (EU), China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the United States. In this project, the EU is responsible for almost 50% of the construction costs. The project is a 35-year collaboration of engineers and scientists to build and operate the world’s largest tokamak.

A tokamak, defined by the Collins dictionary, is “a toroidal reactor used in thermonuclear experiments, in which a strong helical magnetic field keeps the plasma from contacting the external walls. The magnetic field is produced partly by current-carrying coils and partly by a large inductively driven current through the plasma”. In other words, tokamak is a magnetic fusion device that could produce large-scale and carbon-free energy, based on the same principle that powers sun and stars. ITER is on track to be the first fusion device to produce net energy. Therefore, it will produce more power than the one injected to make it work.

A ceremony to celebrate the official beginning of ITER’s assembly was held on 28 July 2020. The first major component was installed in May 2020, and all the other components were shipped to the assembly location in the South of France. This is a major step in the field of fusion science for Europe and beyond.

The Advanced Technology for Industry (ATI) project provides a mapping of Technology Centres on its website with detailed knowledge and experience in the 16 defined advanced technologies, including Advanced Manufacturing.