A few examples:• In 2004 during the early stages of ITER negotiations, a high-level panel chaired by Sir David King (Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK government) concluded that the time was right to press ahead with ITER and recommended funding a "fast track" approach to fusion energy.
In 2013 the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA) published a roadmap to the realization of fusion energy by 2050.• The French Academy of Sciences organized a detailed review of the state-of-the-art and the remaining challenges of fusion both by magnetic confinement (including ITER) and using laser-driven systems.
ITER will be twice as large as the largest tokamak fusion experiment currently operating (JET in the UK), with ten times the plasma volume.
This unique experimental machine has been designed to:• produce 500 MW of fusion power (Q≥10) from 50 MW of heating input power• confine a deuterium-tritium plasma in which alpha-particle heating dominates• demonstrate the integrated operation of technologies for a fusion power plant• test components required for a fusion power plant• test concepts for a tritium breeding module Today, fusion research is at the threshold of exploring a "burning plasma," in which sufficient heat from the fusion reaction is retained within the plasma and sustains the reaction for a long duration.
By producing 500 MW of fusion power from 50 MW of power injected in the systems that heat the plasma—a "gain factor" of 10—ITER will open the way to the next step: a demonstration fusion power plant.
On-site construction of the scientific facility began in 2010.
As the buildings rise at the ITER site in southern France, the fabrication of large-scale mockups and components is underway in the factories of the seven ITER Members.
The ASDEX Tokamak achieved high confinement mode for the first time in 1982.In an unprecedented international effort, seven partners—China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States—have pooled their financial and scientific resources to build the biggest fusion reactor in history.ITER will not produce electricity, but it will resolve critical scientific and technical issues in order to take fusion to the point where industrial applications can be designed.The proportion of papers directly concerned with ITER presented at leading international scientific conferences on fusion as well as in fusion journals has been steadily increasing for a number of years.The fact that research aimed at ITER is now such a dominant topic in these papers demonstrates how essential the project is to the advancement of fusion towards energy production.The scale of ITER is necessary to break new ground in fusion science.In a project of this unprecedented scale, involving worldwide cooperation and billions of euros of expenditure, it would be naïve to believe that there could be unanimity in the scientific community on the aims and the scientific and technical basis of the project.Noting that "the management of the ITER Organization and the performance of the project have improved substantially," the report concludes that despite accumulated delays, "ITER remains the fastest path for the study of burning plasma."• In December 2017, the US National Academy of Sciences issued the first part of a two-phase study on the state and potential of magnetic fusion research in the US.In it, US policy makers were urged to continue to participate in the ITER Project and to develop a long-term strategy for fusion energy demonstration.The review was published in a book in 2007 which emphasised the arguments supporting the construction of ITER.• The United States went through a long process to decide to re-enter the ITER collaboration, after leaving it in the late 1990s.The US National Academy of Sciences convened a panel which included both fusion scientists and senior scientists from related fields such as nuclear fission power, high-energy physics and astrophysics.