Fusion, the energy source of the sun and stars, could be the energy of the future, says the European Commission. It has the potential to provide a safe, cost-efficient and sustainable solution to European and global energy needs. That is why the European Union is part of one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world, known as ITER, a unique project to build the world’s biggest fusion machine.
Earlier this April, a huge magnet, the superconducting Toroidal Field coil (pictured above) was delivered and arrived at its final destination in Cadarache, in the South of France.
“This achievement results from 12 years of work involving more than 700 people and at least 40 companies,” commented Alessandro Bonito-Oliva, Programme Manager for Magnets at Fusion for Energy, the EU organisation managing Europe’s contribution to ITER. “Many factors have made this possible: vision in developing the best procurement strategy and interfaces among suppliers; competence in defining the correct technical solutions; cooperation between the different parties to tackle issues in manufacturing the most complex magnet to date; and last but not least, passion, perseverance and the full commitment of a highly qualified team. Without any of these elements, it would have been impossible to complete this long journey.”
The arrival of the massive component has set two records: this is the first magnet delivered in the history of the ITER project and the biggest component so-far handed over by Europe.
Although a purely experimental device, ITER will help advance fusion energy technology for a greener and more sustainable energy mix. Furthermore, during these challenging times where social distancing is mandatory, highlights like these make us Europeans come together virtually and fill us with collective pride.
Photo: official website of Fusion for Energy.