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ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor)

ITER is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering mega project, which is currently building the world's largest experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor adjacent to theCadarache facility in the south of France.The project is funded and run by seven member entities — the European Union, IndiaJapanChinaRussiaSouth Korea and theUnited States.Fusion power has the potential to provide sufficient energy to satisfy mounting demand, and to do so sustainably, with a relatively small impact on the environment.

A technical concern is that the 14 MeV neutrons produced by the fusion reactions will damage the materials from which the reactor is built. Research is in progress to determine whether and how reactor walls can be designed to last long enough to make a commercial power plant economically viable in the presence of the intense neutron bombardment. The damage is primarily caused by high energy neutrons knocking atoms out of their normal position in the crystal lattice.

The total price of constructing the experiment is expected to be in excess of €15 billion.


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