International Development of Fusion Energy
The largest and most important project of the fusion energy research and development in the world is the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) being built in France. The ITER machine will be the Œrst experimental fusion device that generates fusion energy in engineering scale, typically 500 MW for several hundreds to thousands of seconds by sustained reaction, aiming at the demonstration of possible commercial energy production from fusion. This project originally started by the four parties, the European Union, Japan, former Soviet Union, and the United States was based on the Summit discussion in Geneva in 1985. Following the Conceptual Design Activity in 19881990, Engineering Design Activity conducted from 1992 to 2001 by the four parties generated a detailed design of the plant to be ready for construction, supported by a number of developments and experimental veriŒcation of the components that posed various kinds of technological challenges. Despite scientiŒc conŒdence and expectation, recognition of the difŒculty in both technical and Œnancial scale took the next phase a few years to start international cooperation in the implementation of the construction and operation of this large device. In 2003, Peoples Republic of China and the Republic of Korea joined, and India followed in 2005, and the current joint efforts by the seven parties supported by more than one half of the world population.