World’s Largest Nuclear Fusion Experiment Clears Milestone

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Scientific American: A multination project to build a fusion reactor cleared a milestone yesterday and is now six-and-a-half-years away from “First Plasma,” officials announced. Yesterday, dignitaries attended a components handover ceremony at the construction site of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor in southern France. The ITER project is an experiment aimed at reaching the next stage in the evolution of nuclear energy as a means of generating emissions-free electricity. The section recently installed — the cryostat base and lower cylinder — paves the way for the installation of the tokamak, the technology design chosen to house the powerful magnetic field that will encase the ultra-hot plasma fusion core. The entire project is now 65% complete, the officials said. “Manufactured by India, the ITER cryostat is 16,000 cubic meters,” ITER officials said in a release. “Its diameter and height are both almost 30 meters and it weighs 3,850 tons. Because of its bulk, it is being fabricated in four main sections: the base, lower cylinder, upper cylinder, and top lid.”

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