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Physics Section Activities 


The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor

Documents and publications

ITER Website

The aim of ITER is to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy by constructing a functional fusion power plant.    

The IAEA has been actively involved in the ITER project from its inception, providing its auspices and practical support, including publication of technical documents and ITER Newsletter.

In December 2005 the delegations from China, European Union, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States of America met in Korea to complete their negotiations on an Agreement on the joint implementation of the ITER international fusion energy project. In this meeting India was welcomed as a full party to the ITER venture, the delegation from India then participating fully in the discussions that followed.

With this exciting new development, over half of the world's population is now represented in this global endeavour.

In December 2005 the ITER Joint Work Site in Cadarache, France, was inaugurated. The offices became operational in January 2006. Construction of ITER is expected to take about 10 years, and the reactor will then operate for a further 20 years.

Worldwide progress in both types of fusion research (inertial and magnetic confinement) has been steady, with each decade bringing marked improvements in the plasma parameters attained.

The next generation of experiments should demonstrate the technologies (such as magnets, lasers, ion beams and high temperature materials) that will be required for fusion power plants.

Today, nuclear fusion and plasma physics research is carried out in about 50 IAEA Member States. In support of this worldwide research effort, the Physics Section sponsors coordinated research projects to develop new knowledge and organizes technical meetings to share this knowledge. In this direction, the Physics Section organizes the IAEA Fusion Energy Conference, a biennial gathering of fusion physicists from all over the world, where the latest developments in the area are discussed. Many of the results presented at these meetings are published in the monthly research journal Nuclear Fusion, which is jointly published by the IAEA and the Institute of Physics Publishing in Bristol, United Kingdom.