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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


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The ITER experimental facility

The ITER experimental facility project, an international collaboration that began in 1985, encompasses the European Union, China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States.The purpose of the ITER research programme is to demonstrate the viability of a new energy source: nuclear fusion. Scientists thus hope to “deliver ten times the power that the device consumes”, in other words to produce 500 MW with only 50 MW input power.

Assessing the safety of a future facility

Evaluating the safety of something that has never existed on such a scale: this is the challenge faced by IRSN experts with the future ITER experimental facility, from its conception, already completed, to its operation, in the future.

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ITER: Key dates from conception to operational commissioning

From 1985, date of the start of the ITER programme by Russia, United States, the European Union (via EURATOM) and Japan, to 2027, the year the installation should be operational.

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Elsewhere: 250 tokamaks throughout the world

The term tokamak is in fact the acronym of the Russian terms “toroïdalnaïa kameras magnitnymi katushkami”, which can be translated as “toroidal chamber with magnetic coils”. It was in fact two Russian researchers who, in 1968, succeeded in attaining temperature levels and plasma confinement times (two of the parameters essential for fusion) never before obtained.

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