Home » ITER, F4E and DEMO

ITER

The ITER project (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) represents a crucial step towards the realisation of commercial fusion power plants for energy production. The goal of ITER is to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy based on the same principle that powers the stars.

Seven partners will share of the cost of project construction, operation and decommissioning, and also share in the experimental results and any intellectual property generated by the project: China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States. Most of the components will be built in the ITER Members' factories around the world and delivered to the ITER site for assembly works.

ITER is a long pulse, tokamak reactor, where a mixture of Deuterium and Tritium will be used for energy production, with output power up to 500 MW and for the first time self sustaining nuclear fusion reactions. ITER, with its success, will contribute to the design of the next-generation machine (DEMO) that will bring fusion research to the threshold of a prototype fusion reactor for grid electricity production. DEMO construction is foreseen to start in the 2030s, and operation in the 2040s.

 

Il reattore ITER
Immagine del tokamak ITER in fase di realizzazione a Cadarache. Fonte immagine: www.iter.org
ITER site - Aerial View 1
ITER site - Aerial view 2015. © Matthieu Colin.
 

ITER device characteristics

Each Member has created a Domestic Agency to fulfil its procurement responsibilities to ITER. These agencies employ their own staff, have their own budget, and contract directly with industry. For the European Union, grants are established with the Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy (F4E), founded in 2007 and located in Barcelona.

IFP participates in the realisation of ITER and provides its contribute concerning specific aspects covering a wide spectrum of competences in the fields of plasma physics and fusion technology.

For additional information: IFP grant agreements with ITER IO and F4E

DEMO

A single step will take us from ITER to the commercial reactor, with the realisation of DEMO, the prototype of a fusion power plant, for which conceptual studies and project have been started already.

What are the goals for DEMO?

  • produce net electricity for the grid at the level of a few hundred MWs
  • breed the amount of tritium needed to close its fuel cycle; and
  • Demonstrate all the technologies for the construction of a commercial FPP, including an adequate level of availability.
By when?

To meet the goal of fusion electricity demonstration by 2050, DEMO construction has to begin in the early 2030s at the latest, to allow the start of operation in the early 2040s.
 
 

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