CAA’s Articulate – International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Project


Context:

  • Indian PM delivered a message at the initiation of ITER assembly meeting.

More on News:

  • The occasion is virtually hosted by France.
  • PM called ITER to be a perfect illustration of the age-old Indian belief – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the entire world is working together for the betterment of Mankind
  • India stands proud with its fair share of contributions in terms of cryogenic systems, multi megawatt power supplies and running diagnostic tests.

International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor:

  • It is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject, which will be the world’s largest magnetic confinement plasma physics experiment.
  • It is an experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor that is being built next to the Cadarache facility in Saint-Paul-lès-Durance, in Provence, southern France.
  • Objectives: It aims to create a plasma of 500 megawatts (thermal) for around twenty minutes while 50 megawatts of thermal power are injected into the tokamak, resulting in a ten-fold gain of plasma heating power.
    • Thereby the machine aims to demonstrate, for the first time in a fusion reactor, the principle of producing more thermal power than is used to heat the plasma.
    • Building necessary technical, organizational and logistical capabilities, skills, tools, supply chains
    • Enabling management of such megaprojects among participating countries,
    • Bootstrapping their local nuclear fusion industries.
  • It was formed in 2007 and has 35 participants including India.
  • The project is funded and run by seven member entities—the European Union, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States.
  • Being a research reactor, thermal-to-electric conversion is not intended, and ITER will not produce sufficient power for net electrical production. Instead, the emitted heat will be vented.
  • ITER’s planned successor, DEMO is expected to be the first fusion reactor to produce electricity in an experimental environment.
  • The DEMO phase is expected to lead to full-scale electricity-producing fusion power stations and future commercial reactors.

Tokamak:

  • A tokamak is a device which uses a powerful magnetic field to confine a hot plasma in the shape of a torus.
  • The tokamak is one of several types of magnetic confinement devices being developed to produce controlled thermonuclear fusion power and is the leading candidate for a practical fusion reactor.