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Rosatom: Ceremony marks start of machine assembly of ITER reactor in France

Rosatom: Ceremony marks start of machine assembly of ITER reactor in France

Paris, July 29 - Neftegaz.RU. The ceremony marking the start of the machine assembly of ITER, the international experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor, has taken place online. Russia plays a significant role in this project’s development, alongside the member states of the EU, U.S., India, China, South Korea, and Japan.

The assembly and installation stage of a tokamak reactor is a momentous event for the global scientific community. ITER, as the world’s largest magnetic confinement plasma physics experiment, intends to reproduce the thermonuclear power of the sun on Earth for energy purposes. Once completed, it is hoped that ITER will provide mankind with a reliable and efficient source of energy for millions of years. The reactor operates on the principle of nuclear fusion and requires seawater and lithium as raw materials for its fuel.

French president Emmanuel Macron took part in the ceremony. “When the U.S., Russia, China, Japan, Europe, India and Korea contribute their best scientists and expertise for the common good, it is proof that what brings together people and nations is stronger than what pulls them apart,” said Macron in his speech. ITER Director General Bernard Bigot, who conducted a virtual tour of the site, amongst other activities that day, also spoke at the ceremony alongside the government representatives of other participating countries.

ROSATOM Director General Alexey Likhachev read an address to participants prepared by President Vladimir Putin. “Russia is one of the founding countries of this initiative that aims at making a significant contribution to ensuring energy security of mankind and plays an active role in its implementation. The ITER Project is based on the concept of the Tokamak facility invented and developed in our country. Despite the restrictions due to coronavirus, we managed to maintain an uninterrupted pace of work. This gives us good ground to expect the project goals to be achieved on schedule, and in the foreseeable future we will receive a source of energy that is unique in its power and safety; the operation of which will undoubtedly contribute to solving sustainable economic development goals and improving the quality of life of millions of people.”

Likhachev said that the start of assembly is a major event for the entire fusion community and for all of science. “Despite the restrictions caused by the coronavirus epidemic the assembly and installation works start as scheduled. The main task for all of us now is to ensure timely completion of the installation and assembly and to obtain the 1st plasma by the end of 2025”, he said.

“Russia has its fair share of credit in the reactor assembly beginning on time: the vacuum vessel upper ports and power supply busbars were timely manufactured and supplied to the partners and to the ITER site”, Likhachev noted.

Viktor Ilgisonis, a member of ITER’s International Council and ROSATOM’s Director of Scientific and Technical Research and Development, said: “The ITER project was launched in 2007 and has since been the largest scientific project in history in terms of complexity, cost, and potential significance for humanity … based on the results of [this project], we will be able to judge whether the thermonuclear dream of an inexhaustible and safe source of energy will become a reality in the 21st century.”

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