Maxwell Bernstein | June 12, 2020
On Tuesday, May 26, the largest piece of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor’s (ITER) tokamak was installed on-site in southern France, making fusion energy seem more like a reality according to ITER Newsline.
The ITER project is an experimental fusion energy project that hopes to produce 500 MW of fusion power, advancing our goal of creating carbon-free energy that operates under the same principles as stars, according to ITER’s about page.
Fusion energy comes from the combination of hydrogen nuclei which fuse at extremely high temperatures to create helium as it’s only byproduct. By 2025, ITER will start its first plasma, making it the world’s largest operational tokamak.
A tokamak is an experimental donut-shaped container that contains extremely hot plasmas; a state of matter where electrons are disassociated from their nuclei according to Britannica.
ITER is a collaboration of 35 countries and has been in the works since 1980. The project has a price point of about $23.7 billion to construct it’s 10 million parts, according to WIRED. This the most ambitious energy project today and is crucial in advancing fusion science according to ITER.
To combat climate change, an alternate energy source that produces zero cabon emissions is needed, which fusion energy can fulfill.