Forward with fusion

Ministers from the seven parties of the international nuclear fusion (ITER) project have signed an agreement to establish the international organisation that will implement the ITER fusion energy project.


Ministers from the seven parties of the international nuclear fusion project (ITER) have signed an agreement to establish the international organisation that will implement the ITER fusion energy project.



The ITAR project, to be sited at Cadarache in the South of France, is made up of representatives from China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, the Russia and the USA.



The signature took place at a ceremony at the ElyséePalace in Paris and was hosted by the President of France, Jacques Chirac and the President of the European Commission, Joséé Manuel Durão Barroso. The signed documents were formally handed over to the representative of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to be deposited with the Director General of the IAEA.



ITER will be the world’s largest experimental facility to demonstrate the scientific and technical feasibility of fusion power, which involves light atomic nuclei fusing together to form heavier ones, whereupon a large amount of energy is released.



The construction costs of ITER are estimated at €5bn over ten years, most of which will be awarded in the form of contracts to companies and fusion research institutions.



Europe will contribute roughly half of the costs of construction, while the other six parties will contribute equally to the rest.


A document with background information on ITER can be found here.