Science

Brexit wouldn't affect ITER, India on schedule: ITER spokesperson

29 Jun 2016 | By Ramya

Laban Coblentz, ITER International Fusion Energy Organization's spokesperson, claimed that Brexit wouldn't cause any delay in the construction of multi-billion-dollar International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor in Southern France.

He added that India was 'on schedule' with its deliveries for the nuclear reactor, which would mimic Sun.

Coblentz was visiting Gandhinagar-based Institute for Plasma Research, the nodal body that represents India in the ITER project.

In context: The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor

IntroductionWhat is ITER?

ITER, which stands for International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, is a nuclear fusion research and engineering project that would be the largest magnetic confinement plasma physics experiment in the world.

ITER was formed on 24 October 2007; Iter means 'the way' in Latin, and hence the project's motto is 'the way to new energy'.

It is being developed alongside Southern France's Cadarache scientific research facility.

Fusion EnergySame principle that powers the Sun and stars

According to the ITER's website, 35 countries are collaborating to develop ITER- the world's largest tokamak fusion reactor (a magnetic fusion device).

It is designed to prove the practicality of nuclear fusion as a carbon-free, large-scale energy source based on the principle that powers the Sun and stars.

Powerful magnetic fields are utilized in a tokamak device, to control and confine the plasma.

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Nations that have collaborated for the development of ITER

Participants of ITER program are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.

Project's AimAim of the ITER project

The ITER aims to make the much-awaited transition from experimental plasma physics studies to full-size electricity-producing fusion power stations.

It is designed to give 500 megawatts power output for several seconds; however, it requires 50 megawatts to function.

It demonstrates the principle of generating more energy from fusion process than the energy utilized to initiate the process, which isn't achieved yet in any reactor.

Construction phase to finish by 2019

The ITER facility's construction is expected to end by 2019, after which reactor commissioning, and initiation of plasma experiments would take place 2020, with full-scale deuterium-tritium fusion experiments beginning in 2027. ITER would become world's largest tokamak reactor surpassing the Joint European Torus.

29 Jun 2016Brexit wouldn't affect ITER, India on schedule: ITER spokesperson

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India, a fantastic ITER partner

Laban Coblentz has stated, "India has been a fantastic partner. They have delivered consistently on time; great design and interface. I must say that India is absolutely on schedule with its delivery."

India's ContributionAbout 10% of the total contribution supplied

India has reportedly spent Rs.2,000 crore on ITER, which involves the construction of a 500-megawatt fusion reactor.

India has been supplying several packages, including cooling water systems, cryostat, vessel in-wall shielding blocks, cryodistribution and cryolines, radiofrequency heating sources, and some diagnostics systems.

IPR Director, Professor Dhiraj Bora, said that about 10% of the total Indian contribution towards the project had already been supplied.

World's largest stainless steel vacuum vessel

Dhiraj Bora said: "We have just supplied 10% of the total contribution India is making towards the project. This includes one-fourth of the Cryostat, which is the world's largest stainless steel vacuum vessel that will keep the superconducting magnets of the ITER cryogenically cooled."