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ITER Enters “Critical” Phase

ITER Enters “Critical” Phase

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David Shukman wrote for BBC News, saying that ITER has entered a “critical phase.” The internationally-backed ITER project, under construction in the South of France, is receiving the first of about one million component parts for the reactor. ITER is backed by the European Union plus six other countries, including the United States, and it will demonstrate the viability of fusion power for commercial purposes. After dealing with delays, managers feel the project is on track. From the article:

Under an initial plan, it had once been hoped to achieve the first plasma by the middle of the last decade.

Then, after a redesign, a new deadline of November 2020 was set but that too is now in doubt. Managers say they are doubling shifts to accelerate the pace of construction. It’s thought that even a start date during 2021 may be challenging.

The man in charge of coordinating the assembly of the reactor is Ken Blackler.

“We’ve now started for real,” he told me. “Industrial manufacturing is now under way so the timescale is much more certain – many technical challenges have been solved.

“But Iter is incredibly complicated. The pieces are being made all around the world – they’ll be shipped here.

“We’ll have to orchestrate their arrival and build them step by step so everything will have to arrive in the right order – it’s really a critical point.”

To read the full article, which includes video, click here.

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