European Union marks assembly phase of world nuclear fusion project in France

Interactive ITER nuclear fusion- infographic

But, it has suffered massive budget overruns and multiple delays as the seven partners - Europe, United States, China, India, Japan, Russia and South Korea - struggle to coordinate financing and technological cooperation.

Fourteen years after getting the approval, French scientists will prove that nuclear fusion is a safe and sustainable energy source on Earth, according to a Science Alert report.

A picture shows the fully-assembled 10-metre-large poloidal field coil number 6 (PF6), assembled by China, in the winding facility for the construction of poloidal field coils which will be part of the magnetic system that will contribute to confine and model plasma during the launch of the assembly stage of nuclear fusion machine "Tokamak" of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in Saint-Paul-les-Durance, southeastern France, on July 28, 2020.

When ITER is finished, it is expected that it will demonstrate that fusion power can be generated sustainably on a commercial scale. "ITER perfectly demonstrates this duality: it is a major investment in our high-tech industries and clean energy sources for the future".

"Today we mark an important milestone for the ITER project, and for fusion energy development".

Reputed as an "Artificial Sun", the ITER program is one of the largest and most important worldwide scientific research project in the world.

Technicians and visitors stand inside the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) assembly hall in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, southern France, November 7, 2019.

The technology also promises "clean, no-carbon, safe and practically waste-free energy", which the president has long advocated tackling climate change caused by greenhouse gases produced from coal burning. Once completed, the 59-feet tall Central Solenoid will be the largest pulsed superconducting magnet ever built, operating at temperatures of 4K - near absolute zero - and driving 15 million amperes of current into the ITER tokamak to heat and stabilize the plasma.

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"Constructing the machine piece-by-piece will be like assembling a three-dimensional puzzle on an intricate timeline and with the precision of a Swiss watch", ITER director-general Bernard Bigot said.

'We have a complicated script to follow over the next few years, ' Dr Bigot added.

The ITER project was launched in 2006 and had originally planned to conduct its first test run this year, to reach full fusion by 2023.

The project's estimated cost just for the European Union was about 20 billion euros ($23.5 billion), Bigot told reporters.

"Delivering fusion energy for humanity is far from easy".

While it could reach full power by 2035, the experimental project is not created to produce electricity.

The ITER plant is designed for 500 megawatt output, which if connected to a power grid translates into 200 MW of electricity, enough to provide power to 200,000 households. Each reactor can power two million homes each at an operational cost similar to those of conventional nuclear machines.

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