Category Archives: EU


In 2014, 29 research organisations and universities from 26 European countries plus Switzerland signed the EUROfusion consortium agreement. In addition about 100 Third Parties contribute to the research activities through the Consortium members. EUROfusion collaborates with Fusion for Energy (Spain) and intensively supports the ITER International Organization (France).

EUROfusion, the ‘European Consortium for the Development of Fusion Energy’, manages and funds European fusion research activities on behalf of Euratom.

The 29 partners of the EUROfusion consortium signed the agreement on behalf of about 40 fusion laboratories which are themselves linked to more than 100 Third Parties**.

EUROfusion funds fusion research activities in accordance with the Roadmap to the realisation of fusion energy. The Roadmap outlines the most efficient way to realise fusion electricity by 2050. It is the result of an analysis of the European Fusion Programme undertaken in 2012 by the Research laboratories within EUROfusion’s predecessor agreement, the European Fusion Development Agreement, EFDA.

In the 1970s, Europe’s leading fusion laboratories joined forces to build and operate the Joint European Torus, JET. Since then a growing number of labs have been continuously developing their collaboration to coordinate research activities beyond JET. To this end the parties formed the European Fusion Development Agreement, EFDA in 1999. Since 2014 the EUROfusion consortium takes this collaboration another step further.

*Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and United Kingdom.

**The majority of Third Parties are Universities followed by laboratories and industry.

This work has been carried out within the framework of the EUROfusion Consortium and has received funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018 under grant agreement No 633053. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the European Commission.

ITER the way to new energy


If you haven’t heard about ITER, chances are you will soon. The scale and scope of the ITER Project rank it among the most ambitious science endeavors of our time. Building began in 2010 on the ITER platform in Cadarache, France where 35 nations are collaborating to realize the world’s largest tokamak fusion device.

100,000 kilometres
100,000 kilometres of niobium-tin (Nb3Sn) superconducting strands are necessary for ITER’s toroidal field magnets. Fabricated by suppliers in six ITER Domestic Agencies—China, Europe, Japan, Korea, Russia and the USA—production began in 2009 and is currently drawing to a close. Over 400 tonnes of this multifilament wire has been produced for ITER at a rate of about 150 tonnes/year, a spectacular increase in worldwide production capacity (estimated, before the scale-up for ITER, at a maximum of 15 tonnes/year). Stretched end to end, the Nb3Sn strand produced for ITER would wrap around the Earth at the equator twice.

2x the thrust of a Space Shuttle lift-off
The structure of the ITER central solenoid—the large, 1,000-tonne electromagnet in the centre of the machine—must be strong enough to contain a force equivalent to twice the thrust of the Space Shuttle at take-off. That’s 60 meganewtons, or over 6,000 tonnes of force.

23,000 tons
The ITER machine will weigh 23,000 tons. The metal contained in the Eiffel Tower (7,300 tons) can’t compare … the ITER Tokamak will be as heavy as three Eiffel Towers. The vacuum vessel alone weighs 8,000 tons. Approximately one million components will be integrated into this complex machine.

840 cubic metres
The ITER Tokamak will be the largest ever built, with a plasma volume of 840 cubic metres. In currently operating tokamaks, the maximum plasma volume is 100 cubic metres—achieved by both Europe’s JET and Japan’s JT-60.

5,000 people
At the peak of ITER construction in 2018-2019, 5,000 people are expected at ITER (on the worksite and in the offices), up from 1,400 in 2014. The projected rise is due to a sharp increase in the number of construction workers on the platform.

104 kilometres
The heaviest components of the ITER machine will be shipped to the nearest Mediterranean port and then transported along 104 kilometres of specially modified road known as the ITER Itinerary. The dimensions of these components are impressive: the heaviest will weigh nearly 900 tons including the transport vehicle; the largest will be approximately four storeys—or 10.6 metres—high. Some will measure 9 metres across; others 33 metres long.

400,000 tonnes
The Tokamak Seismic Isolation Pit (pictured) houses the anti-seismic foundations of the future Tokamak Complex. Some 400,000 metric tons will rest on the lower basemat, including the Complex foundations and walls and the ITER Tokamak. 400,000 metric tons is more than the weight of New York’s Empire State Building.

84,000 visitors
The latest figures are in: 83,999 people have visited the ITER site since work began in 2007 to clear and level land for the future scientific installation. In 2014, nearly 17,000 people passed through the ITER Visitors Centre, including some 7,000 schoolchildren.

360 tonnes
Every one of the ITER Tokamak’s 18 D-shaped toroidal field coils will weigh 360 tonnes. The coils will be unloaded from ocean-going vessels before being transported along the ITER Itinerary on radio-controlled transporters. 360 tonnes is the approximate weight of a fully loaded Boeing 747-300 airplane. Each toroidal field coil is 14 metres high and 9 metres wide.

500 MW
The goal of the ITER fusion program is to produce a net gain of energy and set the stage for the demonstration fusion power plant to come. ITER has been designed to produce 500 MW of output power for 50 MW of input power—or ten times the amount of energy put in. The current record for released fusion power is 16 MW (held by the European JET facility located in Culham, UK).

150 million °C
The temperature at our Sun’s surface is 6,000°C, and at its core—15 million°C. Temperature combines with density in our Sun’s core to create the conditions necessary for the fusion reaction to occur. The gravitational forces of our stars can not be recreated here on Earth, and much higher temperatures are necessary in the laboratory to compensate. In the ITER Tokamak, temperatures will reach 150 million°C—or ten times the temperature at the core of our Sun.

42 hectares
The main feature of the 180-hectare ITER site in Saint Paul-lez-Durance, southern France, is a man-made level platform that was completed in 2009. This 42-hectare platform measures 1 kilometre long by 400 metres wide, and compares in size to 60 soccer fields. Building began in August 2010.

60 metres
The Tokamak Building will be slightly taller than the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Measuring 73 metres (60 metres above ground and 13 metres below), it will be the tallest structure on the ITER site.

Report on Technical Feasibility of Fusion Energy to the Special Committee for the ITER Project

March 8, ASDEX Upgrade Seminar
M. Kikuchi
Former member of subcommittee for Fusion
Development Strategy under Fusion Council

Charge to Subcommittee for Fusion Development Strategy

(3) Technical feasibility of the fusion energy
(4) Extension of the program and basic supporting research

For topic (3) above, the Special Committee additionally requested an evaluation of the feasibility of fusion energy as a safe and reliable energy source from the aspects of technical potential, management capability, and characteristics of Japanese industrial structure.

Two other subcommittes are formed for answering
(1) Survey of long term demand and supply of energy sources
(2) Feasibility study of alternative energy sources
(5) Distribution of resources for research
(6) International relations.

Members of Subcommittee for Fusion Development Strategy (April 2000)

Nobuyuki Inoue
(Chairman) Chairman of Fusion Council
Professor, Institute of Advanced Energy, Kyoto University)

Katsunori Abe
Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University
Kunihiko Okano Research Fellow, Komae Research Laboratory, Nuclear Energy Systems
Department, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry,

Yuichi Ogawa
Professor, High Temperature Plasma Center, University of Tokyo

Mitsuru Kikuchi
General Manager, Tokamak Program Division, Department of Fusion Plasma
Research, Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute

Shigetada Kobayashi
Chairman of the Committee on Nuclear Fusion Research & Development,
Nuclear industry Executive Committee, Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association
(Senior Manager, Advanced Energy Design & Engineering Department, Power
Systems & Services Company, Toshiba Corporation)

Satoru Tanaka
Professor, Department of Quantum Engineering and Systems Science,
Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo

Yoshiaki Hirotani
Manager, Department of Project Planning and Promotion,
Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc)

Masami Fujiwara
Director-General, National Institute of Fusion Science

Shinzaburo Matsuda
Director General, Naka Fusion Establishment,
Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute

Kenzo Miya
Chairman of Planning and Promotion Subcommittee under Fusion Council
(Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo)

Chapter 1 Future Prospects of the Fusion Energy

1.1 Situations in the 21st century
1.2 Criteria for commercialization
1.3 Comparison with other power sources

1.3.1 Resources (fusion, fission, fossil)
1.3.2 CO2 Emissions and Sustainability of Atmosphere
1.3.3 Safety viewed from Biological Hazard Potential
1.3.4 Radioactive Waste and Environmental Adaptability
1.3.5 Plant Characteristics
1.3.6 Economical Efficiency
1.3.7 Use of Fusion other than Electricity

1.4 Overall Assessment

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