French landmark decree authorizes ITER construction
The French government has capped more than two years of review by issuing a license for the construction of ITER, the international fusion project that the European Union, the United States and five other countries are building in Cadarache, France, to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy. French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault signed the decree authorizing the license on Nov. 10, 2012. The move confirms the safety of the ITER project and clears the way for its construction.
“This landmark decree comes as just reward for our rigorous consideration of safety and environmental issues,” said ITER Director General Osamu Motojima. “ITER safety has now been confirmed by a large body of outside, independent experts,” Motojima said. “This is indeed a great day for ITER.”
Plans call for the 10-story tall ITER facility to produce a self-sustained fusion reaction, or burning plasma, by the 2020s. The experiment is designed to create 10 times more energy than will be needed to produce the reaction.
U.S. contributors to the experiment include the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, which is conducting research and developing components for the massive facility. The U.S. ITER project is based at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Members of the ITER Organization include China, India, Japan, Russia and South Korea, in addition to the United States and the European Union.