but we do wish they would hurry up!!!
- Fusion is the process that powers the stars including the Sun
- One litre of water contains enough deuterium, when fused with tritium, to produce the equivalent energy of 500 litres of petrol
- A 1,500MW fusion power station would consume about 600g of tritium and 400g of deuterium a day.
- The first large-scale use of fusion was by the US military with the detonation of Ivy Mike, a hydrogen bomb, on 1 November 1952.
- Iter's design involves a tokamak, the Russian word for a ring-shaped magnetic chamber
- The magnetic field is designed to contain 100 million degree plasma, the temperature required for the fusion process
- The US, while supporting Iter as a partner, is also funding the National Ignition Facility, which uses lasers to heat and compress hydrogen to the point of fusion.
- South Korea, another Iter partner, is investing $941m in a fusion technology demonstrator, K-DEMO, which could be the first to generate Grid power.
- Critics object to further research into nuclear power and question the likely costs of commercial operations.
- We say it is the future
The technical challenges of not only handling such an extreme process but also designing ways of extracting energy from it have always been immense.
The Iter reactor will put that to the test. Known as a "tokamak", it is based on the design of Jet, a European pilot project at Oxfordshire.
The Culham (Oxon) reactor used so much power to fire it they had to tell the grid when they were going to us it