In the nuclear research center Cadarache in the South of France started the Assembly process of the first ever nuclear fusion reactor ITER — international thermonuclear experimental reactor (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor). It will be on the Ground to repeat the processes occurring in stars (including the Sun), when the high temperatures and pressures fused the nuclei of hydrogen isotopes, releasing tremendous energy.
13 years ago, there began the implementation of ambitious international project that can permanently free the planet from carbon emissions and other harmful substances that are unavoidably released during the production of energy on the planet from fossil sources. Nuclear fusion could provide humanity with inexhaustible energy, because the “fuel” for thermonuclear reactors would be the water, including in the oceans.
In the ITER project involves all EU countries (act as a single party), as well as the US, Russia, China, Japan, India and the Republic of Korea.
28 Jul numerous international team of scientists and engineers began to assemble the “heart” of the future fusion power plant — fusion reactor. On this occasion, at the construction site of the main object of the ITER project held a ceremony.
In his greeting the President of France Emmanuel macron said: “ITER is an outstanding international project that promises our planet the world. Common efforts of its members greatly exceed their own potential in each of the countries of the project, which is a convincing proof of the great importance of international cooperation”.
Greeting the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe was read by the Minister of science and education Koichi Haruta. In this Japanese leader said: “Now humanity is facing existential challenges such as climate change, the greenhouse effect and the monstrous emissions of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. We need a breakthrough, revolutionary innovation. I want to wish wonderful project ITER steady advance, in spite of any difficulties, including hit the planet pandemic coronavirus”. Japan is responsible for the development and production, including heavy duty magnetic coils installed in the magnetic system of ITER (the so-called “takamaka”) and provides control for the plasma field. Representing the Russian side the General Director of Rosatom state Corporation Alexey Likhachev read out to the participants welcome address of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, where it was noted that “ITER is a Prime example of effective and mutually beneficial multilateral cooperation.”
According to available reports, the Assembly of the fusion reactor will require about four and a half years. It is unique in its complexity. And the process of large-scale thermonuclear fusion is expected to launch in 2035.
What is ITER?
ITER (international thermonuclear experimental reactor) is an outstanding structure in which in the earth’s artificial conditions repeat the processes occurring in the stars of the Universe, in which stands a colossal energy. Fuel for ITER is a mixture of hydrogen isotopes — deuterium and tritium. The merger of deuterium and tritium at high temperature to “ignite” a fusion reaction, which releases massive amounts of energy. It forms a state of matter called “plasma”.
Theoretically, 1 gram of deuterium can create as much energy as is created by burning 8 tons of oil. It is expected that by 2035 through the creation of a powerful magnetic system of the reactor will be able to keep the “burning” of the plasma within 5 to 8 minutes. Thus, only during this impulse it will be possible to get 500 000 kilowatts of energy.
The main structure of the entire complex is a “Tokomak” — toroidal chamber with magnetic coils, where it will undergo a thermonuclear reaction. This heavy-duty metal construction with a length of about 30 meters and a height of a ten-storey house. It will be installed in about one million parts and mechanisms that will be produced by the participating countries.
For the period from the beginning of the substantive phase of work on the ITER project until 2025, costs are expected to be about $ 25 billion.
The participants of the ITER project and experts say that a fusion reactor is the “dream of humanity” — getting unlimited resources of clean energy from water.
However, the practical implementation of the industrial launch of the “fusion” is still a lot of daunting challenges. Home is a long retention period of the existence of high-temperature plasma and the reduction to an acceptable level of energy consumption for its “warming up”.
Japan’s contribution to the international ITER project
From the above the total cost of implementing the ITER project to 2025, which will run the reactor (25 billion dollars) Japan will spend approximately 2.9 billion. To date, the country in General has spent on ITER two billion dollars.
Japan is responsible for the production and supply for the project a number of high-precision equipment and components. In particular, we are talking about heavy duty magnets, which must “hold” the plasma in the reserved space of the plasma torus. This so-called magnetic toroidal field coils, which are wound from superconducting cable and have their cooling system. Of the 19 such coils Japan will produce 9 units. 2 of them are already done and delivered to France.
Japan is responsible for the development and supply for the reactor high-precision measuring and control apparatus employed in a plasma and electron flows.
Since 2007, Japan has dispatched to France to participate in the ITER project a large team of engineers and technicians. Many of them are in project management positions. So, from 2010 to 2015 post of Director-General of the main governing body — the Council of ITER (ITER Council) was occupied by Osamu Motojima. Currently a Director of the Council of ITER development is Takeshi Ohmae.
In the leadership of the Japanese Ministry of education and science said: “In Japan, poor in natural and energy resources, understand the importance of working on the creation of new sources of energy. Japanese research organisations and universities from the 1960s years doing scientific research and experiments in this area. We expect good results from the ITER project”.
The ITER project best Japan
For Japan’s participation in the ITER project meets a strong scientific and experimental organization, the Japanese national Institute of nuclear and quantum research. The administration Department of ITER project it is headed by Makoto Sugimoto, who was present at the ceremony in Cadarache. He talks about the difficulties that stood in the way of Japanese engineers when creating those magnetic coils toroidal field: “It’s a great design. Each coil has a height of 16 meters, diameter of 9 meters and weighs more than 300 tons. When winding of coils and their installation, tolerances are absolutely minimal — a few tenths of a millimeter. This is a very complex technology. Earlier in Japan, such a huge superconducting magnets was not created”.
As for the ITER project, the Sugimoto told us: “In a world choking on carbon emissions, all great hopes for the limitless production of cheap and clean energy based on thermonuclear synthesis. I am convinced that it involves and the future of Japan. Multilateral cooperation in the ITER project is economically and technically held countries will bring huge benefits to all mankind. And for Japan it was an honour to contribute to this noble cause”.
Prospects for international cooperation in the ITER project are encouraging
It should be recalled that the ITER project appeared thanks to the agreements between Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan made in November 1985, the year the meeting in Geneva. It was then that the leaders of the USA and the USSR was accepted the decision on joint research fusion energy for peaceful purposes, and in a year, the Euratom, the USSR, the USA and Japan signed the corresponding contract.
Now more than 30 countries are working hand in hand on a construction site in France, mounting the contours of a future fusion reactor for the production of cheap energy. (Russia continues to be actively involved in the ITER project. It produces and supplies for the project twenty-five systems of complex high-tech equipment — Prim ed.).
Director of the Board, the ITER strategy of Takeshi Ohmae, stressing the importance of the project for the fate of the planet, says: “it is Particularly noteworthy that the fusion involved so many countries in the world where there are still conflicts and terrorism. To prove with the help of modern technological developments, the possibility of using thermonuclear fusion in the interests of humanity, is only half our goal. The other half is to prove that the people of the planet Earth can successfully combine their efforts in addressing crucial tasks to them”.
Mr. Ohmae adds: “Today, when our train was called the ITER is already gaining momentum and brings us closer to the cherished goal of mastering “fusion”, it is important that all the occupants of the structure continued to move towards her until the very end.” Director of Ohmae sure that once the ITER project has reached the stage of practical design of the experimental reactor, the participating countries more tightly closed their ranks to work on its development.
Comments Japanese readers
From such news, my heart becomes warmer!
And about the millions of tons of tritium contaminated water from Fukushima have already forgotten?
Great! Here it is, the triumph of reason and the technical genius of a man!
Why are we in such a technologically advanced Japan not to build nuclear fusion reactors?
But origins were Russia, America and Japan, which was joined by only a few European countries.
When reality catches up with fiction!
And how many Japan vbuhivayut in this case money! You pay off spending? After all, once wanted to build thermonuclear experimental reactor in Aomori Prefecture. And since they were afraid of possible accidents!
It is only hope. And you forgot that France is a country of terror? Including environmental?
Great! This is the beginning of our future!
I think the commercial use of nuclear fusion is still far away!
Essentially, we are talking about the use of the hydrogen bomb for peaceful purposes. How it will go? If “fusion” will benefit or harm? Half the grandmother said.
A “braxana” the UK is not even mentioned. That’s it! Out of the project. And the flag on video is no longer!
Say that a fusion reactor accident is unlikely. I can’t believe it!