Fourteen years after receiving the official go-ahead, scientists on Tuesday began assembling a giant machine in southern France designed to demonstrate that nuclear fusion, the process which powers the sun, can be a safe and viable energy source on Earth.
The groundbreaking multinational experiment, known as ITER, has seen components arrive in the tiny commune of Saint-Paul-les-Durance from production sites worldwide in recent months.
They will now be painstakingly put together to complete what is described by ITER as the “world’s largest puzzle.”
The experimental plant’s goal is to demonstrate that fusion power can be generated sustainably, and safely, on a commercial scale, with initial experiments set to begin in December 2025.
Fusion powers the sun and other stars when light atomic nuclei fuse together to form heavier ones, releasing huge amounts of energy in doing so.
The challenge is to build a machine which can harness this energy which is meant to be held in place in the reactor vessel and controlled by an immensely strong magnetic field.
Credit channel television