The ProjectITER is a large-scale international scientific project intended to prove the practicability of nuclear fusion as an energy source. ITER was originally an acronym for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, but at present it is not considered an official abbreviation, but is connected with the Latin word “Iter” that means “way”, “journey”, “direction”.
The project is expected to collect the data necessary for the design and operation of the first electricity-producing fusion power plant. As known all nuclear power plants (NPPs) currently operating through over the world produce electricity from fission accompanied by high-level and long-life radioactive waste, which causes great protests of common people against these NPPs.
Just remind the ITER Agreement was officially signed at the Elysée Palace in Paris on 21 November 2006 by Ministers from the seven ITER Members (China, theEuropean Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and theUnited States) in the presence of French President Jacques Chirac and the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso. This Agreement established a legal international entity to be responsible for construction, operation, and decommissioning of ITER. The seven ITER Members have shared in the design of the installation, the creation of the international project structure, and in its funding.
On 24 October 2007, after ratification by all Members, the ITER Agreement entered into force and officially constituted the ITER Organization. ITER was originally expected to cost approximately €5 billion. However, the rising price of raw materials and changes to the initial design have augmented that the amount more than triple, i.e. to €16 billion. Necessary to add that ITER members make 90% of their contribution in kind, i.e. they contribute by equipment. It means the members produce appropriate devices and fund them into the project. The remaining 10% of the contribution are paid in cash by the members. Russia undertook obligations to manufacture 18 high technology systems for the project ITER.
The program is anticipated to last for 30 years – 10 for construction, and 20 years of operation. The reactor is expected to take 10 years to build with completion in 2018 (according to some sources in 2020). The ITER site in Cadarache, France stands ready: in 2010, construction began on the ITER Tokamak and scientific buildings.
At the end of October 2012 in the Saint Petersburg Research institute of electrophysical devices named after D.V.Efremov the first tests of the unique equipment within the project ITER were launched.
The components of the diverter target prototype of the ITER reactor faced to plasma are being tested (the details about the diverter target can be found in Вольфрамовая облицовка диверторной мишени для …). A proprietary test facility IDTF (ITER Divertor Test Facility) has been built up for testing. The facility enables to expose the ITER components to the same thermal burden as during operation and maintenance of the experimental reactor. The plasma temperature is supposed to grow up to 100 – 150 mil. degrees and expected heat loading on the diverter surface will rise up to 20 MW/m2. That is why the components under tests shall comply with the very strict requirements.
The components to be tested on the Russian facility have been produced in Japan. The testing is held in the presence of the ITER Agencies of Russia and Japan representants as well as with participation of the ITER International Organisation specialists.
The conclusions about the test results are expected to be made by the end of November 2012. It will be the first of numerous series of tests and trials the results of which will enable to master well-proven technology of manufacturing the ITER components.
PS: The technical terms on the topic can be found in TrainTE Vocabulary (Power engineering: English–Russian-Czech vocabulary) and in Vocabulary – power engineering (Russian–English–Czech). PPS: The Russian version of the article titled Проект ИТЭР в реализации is published at the blog Technical English Remarks.