Europe builds a sustainable future with fusion

15 May 2008 | 16:50 | News, Press releases

ITER, a joint international research project, will attempt to reproduce on Earth the nuclear reactions that power the Sun and other stars. To test whether this is possible, plasma turbulence simulation and modelling tools are being developed, but these require a huge amount of computing power to process data. This is where EUFORIA, a €3.65 million EU-funded project, comes in. It aims to link computers from all over

Europe and harmonise the simulations made in various areas of fusion.Bringing together partners from France, Finland, Germany, Italy Spain, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden and UK, the project will work between now and 2010 to distribute the computing capacity needed for simulating ITER to networks of computers and high performance computers (HPC) across Europe. ‘We try to link the different computer architectures such that the strengths of the respective architecture are made use of to the full extent, stresses Dr Marcus Hardt, EUFORIA project coordinator at the Karlsruhe Research Centre (FZK) in Germany.Until now, simulation programs from various fields of physics have been conducted separately. These individual simulation program frequently involves extensive calculation processes, taking months before results are available. The EUFORIA project hopes to bring these programs together to simulate the fusion reactor as a whole.Initially, the project will focus on adapting and optimising plasma physics and magnetic confinement fusion codes for use in grid and HPC environments. The aim is to make the programs containing the code run faster and to enable them to use a larger number of processors in order to solve substantially larger problem instances.

The lessons learned during this development phase will be made publicly available and direct support will be provided to new users who wish to integrate their fusion codes into the EUFORIA platform. This activity alone will provide a significant step forward in the modelling capacities and capabilities of the fusion modelling community, say the project partners.

The coupling of different computational modules and codes requires a large degree of coordination and structured data management and efficient resource scheduling. In its second phase, the project will develop a workflow orchestration tool to facilitate the integration process and provide a structure or framework for performing additional tasks such as computational steering and interactive monitoring or control. The end result, the project partners hope, is improved integrated modelling capabilities of fusion plasmas, as well as new fusion computing infrastructure and tools.

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Europe launches its first procurement for ITER

24 April 2008 | 14:13 | Press releases

Fusion for Energy (F4E), the organisation for Europe’s contribution to ITER, unlocks new business opportunities for industry by launching its first ever procurement. ITER is the world’s largest scientific partnership that aims to demonstrate the potential of fusion as an energy source, bringing together seven parties that represent half of the world’s population- the EU, Russia, Japan, China, India, South Korea and the United States. The objective of this first procurement by Fusion for Energy is the supply of Chromium plated Copper strand that forms part of the ITER super conducting magnets in order to hold the heated gas known as plasma in position. This first procurement marks the beginning of a strong partnership with European industry and research organisations in providing the components for ITER and ensuring its successful operation’ explained Fusion for Energy Director, Didier Gambier. 

Fusion will generate growth and jobs by opening up new markets and opportunities to a wide range of industries and research organisations. Aside from progress in the field of fusion technologies, fusion research has contributed by means of direct or indirect spin offs to areas of medicine and health including Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI); material processing through advancements made in laser machining and robotics through progress made in remote handling systems. 

What is Fusion for Energy? 

Fusion for Energy is the European Union’s organisation responsible for providing Europe’s procurements and ‘in kind’ contribution to ITER. It will also support fusion R&D initiatives through the Broader Approach Agreement signed with Japan and prepare for the construction of demonstration fusion reactors. Fusion for Energy was set in April 2007 for a period of 35 years. Its offices are located in

Barcelona, Spain. 

What is ITER?

ITER aims to reproduce fusion that occurs in the sun and stars. Existing experiments have already shown that it is possible to replicate this process on Earth. ITER aims to do this at a scale and in conditions that will demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion as an energy source. 

What is fusion? 

When the nuclei of light atoms come together at very high temperatures, they fuse and they release enormous amounts of energy- this is the power source for our sun and stars. To produce fusion on earth, one must heat gas to around 10 million degrees Celsius in a “cage” made by strong magnetic fields which prevent gas from escaping. The development of fusion science and technology has been the basis of the European fusion programme. 

Why is fusion an attractive source of energy?

  • It could provide a large-scale energy source with basic fuels which are abundant and available everywhere.
  • Very low global impact on the environment – no CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Day-to-day-operation of a fusion power station would not require the transport of radio-active materials.
  • Power Stations would be inherently safe, with no possibility of “meltdown” or “runaway reactions”.
  • There is no long-lasting radioactive waste to create a burden on future generations.

How will ITER be financed? 

Most of the components that make up ITER will be contributed by the ITER parties “in kind” (i.e. by providing directly the components themselves, rather than contributing cash). The EU as host Party for ITER, will contribute up to about 50% of the construction costs and the other parties will each contribute up to 10%. 

For more information about Fusion for Energy and ITER see:

For more information about the ongoing Procurements see: 

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ITER Organization and Japan sign first Procurement Arrangement

30 November 2007 | 18:01 | Press releases

The ITER Organization is moving on from designing to procuring. On Wednesday November 28th, the Director General of the ITER Organization, Kaname Ikeda, and the Director for International Affairs Department, Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Toshi Nagaoka, signed the first Procurement Arrangement between the ITER Organization and the Japanese Domestic Agency at the Chateau de Cadarache.

This Procurement Arrangement is for part of the conductor for the 18 Toroidal Field (TF) Coils that will confine the plasma within the ITER machine. “Being the first Procurement Arrangement, it clearly signals that ITER procurements have begun and on a big scale”, Kaname Ikeda, ITER Director General, said. 

For further information and photographs, please contact: Mrs Jennifer Hay:

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Russian President signs law ratifying ITER agreements

31 August 2007 | 18:56 | Press releases

MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed Monday a law on ratifying two agreements regulating the ITER project, an experimental reactor in France being built with Russia’s involvement, aimed at eventually generating power by nuclear fusion.
Under the document, passed by both houses of Russia’s parliament and first signed in Paris on November 21, 2006, Russia, South Korea, China, Japan, India, the European Union and the United States agree to fund the construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor.
The agreement provides immunity and privileges for the organization overseeing the international project’s joint implementation.
The $10 billion project to build the reactor in Cadarache near Marseilles in South France is designed to demonstrate the scientific and technological potential of nuclear fusion amid concerns over growing energy consumption and the impact of conventional fossil fuels on the global climate.
ITER’s first plasma operation is expected in 2016. The European Union will cover 40% of the construction cost, and the other participants will contribute 10% each.

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Government of India approves Indian participation to ITER project

31 August 2007 | 18:55 | Press releases

NEW DELHI, July 5 (ITER-India) – The Union Cabinet of the Government of India, in a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister today formally sanctioned the funding for Indian participation in the ITER Project. India will contribute 10% of the ITER cost (about Rs 2500 Crores) mostly in the form of ITER components manufactured in India by Indian Industries and delivered to ITER.

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Fusion for Energy appoints its first Director

19 July 2007 | 13:07 | Press releases

The Governing Board of the European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy (‘Fusion for Energy‘) appointed the organisation’s first Director. This appointment follows the official inauguration of ‘Fusion for Energy’ at its offices in Barcelona on 28 June. The nominee Director is Dr. Didier Gambier, currently Head of Unit for the Joint Development of Fusion in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research. With a budget of around €4 billion for the first ten years, ‘Fusion for Energy‘ will play a key role in realising fusion as a possible future limitless source of energy and has been set up to provide the European contributions to the ITER International Fusion Energy project, the Broader Approach Agreement with Japan as well as to prepare for demonstration fusion reactors.

Press Release (PDF)

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Switzerland and Japan sign bilateral agreement on scientific and technological cooperation

12 July 2007 | 7:23 | Press releases

Bern, 2007-07-10,
Federal Councillor Pascal Couchepin and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso signed a bilateral agreement in Tokyo today on future scientific and technological cooperation between Switzerland and Japan. The agreement falls in line with the strategy laid out in the Federal Council’s Message on the Promotion of Education, Research and Innovation for the years 2008-2011 whereby Switzerland’s ties in the field of education and research are to be expanded to include suitable non-European partner countries that are interested in bilateral cooperation.

Read more.

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ITER Information for Swiss Industry re-launched

18 June 2007 | 0:00 | Site info

As the past realisation of the internet based platform was not able to generate much interest within the Swiss stakeholders, it was decided to propose a new approach with a straight forward approach. The new look and feel is based on an intuitive navigation, new design and a self imposed restriction of presenting only the most relevant information.

The main goal of this homepage however remains the same: to create, to support and to foster the interest in fusion related technology in order to promote Switzerland’s technological savoir faire and participation in the world spanning ITER project.

The users will decide about the success or the failure of this site. Visiting it regularly, commenting the presented information, providing feedback about requests or needs of potential users will provide the bases for a continued effort in this information platform.

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New textbook on fusion energy

1 June 2007 | 14:28 | Press releases

Plasma Physics and Fusion EnergyJeff Freidberg, Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT, has published a new textbook, “Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy”.

The book is based on a series of lecture notes from graduate courses in plasma physics and fusion energy at MIT. The 671 page text is published by Cambridge University Press.

Freidberg states, in the Preface, “it is my hope that the book will help educate the next generation of fusion researchers, an important goal in view of the international decision to build ITER, the world’s first reactor-scale, burning plasma experiment.

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Korean National Assembly ratifies ITER Agreement

1 June 2007 | 14:26 | Press releases

During their meeting on 2 April, the Korean National Assembly ratified the ITER Joint Implementation Agreement. This opens the way for the establishment of the Korean Domestic Agency. A goverment official stressed the commitment of the Korean government to continuing its high level of support for the successful launch of the ITER Organization and the ITER project.

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