Agreement Signed for ITER International Fusion Energy Project


Nov 22, 2006

Ministers from the seven Partners of the international fusion project ITER (China, European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the United States) today signed the agreement to establish the international organization that will implement the ITER fusion energy project.

The signing took place in Paris, hosted by French President Jacques Chirac and by the President of the European Commission, M. Jose Manuel Durao Barroso. ITER will be constructed at Cadarache, France and is expected to be completed in 2015.

"The ITER project will be a landmark in the history of the development of fusion energy," said Mike Campbell, Senior Vice President of General Atomic's Energy Group. "Over half the population of the world, from the seven parties, have joined together in the ITER project to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy."

"It will demonstrate the actual production of fusion power, 500 million Watts of fusion power. It will enable the creation of a burning plasma (a man-made star on earth) with an energy gain of ten, sufficiently high that the plasma is dominantly self-heated by the fusion reactions," he said.

"While many challenges remain for its promise to be realized, ITER will develop and test technology at power plant scale critical for the advancement of fusion energy. Its all-superconducting magnet technology and steady-state heat removal technology will enable developing the basis of steady-state plasma operation and high-energy gain in future fusion systems. Its extensive measurement and control systems that allow variation of the plasma state, and long pulse capability will enable understanding of the burning plasma state," Campbell said.

"For 50 years, GA and more recently the DIII-D National Fusion Program at General Atomics' main campus in San Diego, has been a principal contributor to the international effort to build the scientific basis for ITER and fusion energy," added Ron Stambaugh, GA Vice President for the Magnetic Fusion Energy Program.

"The DIII-D tokamak will continue to develop answers to specific scientific questions for ITER and advanced operating modes for ITER. GA is committed to the success of ITER and intends to contribute significantly to its scientific and technical success. We applaud the Department of Energy's actions in securing a major U.S. participation in this important milestone in the development of fusion energy," Stambaugh said.


Dr. Tony Taylor

Mgr., Experimental Sciences

GA Fusion Program

858 455-3559

Doug Fouquet

Mgr., Public Relations

858 455-2173


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