Navigation path

Login   |   Register

Advanced search Search in:    Audio    Photo    Video    Shotlist


VNR: ITER - Hopes for clean and abundant energy


The Ministers representing the seven parties concerned will initial on Wednesday 24 May 2006 in Brussels the agreement establishing the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project. Based on research ongoing for more than 40 years and involving the European Union, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States, ITER is the world's biggest scientific cooperation project. The construction phase, costing some $10 billion, will last 10 years and the operation phase 20 years. The Cadarache site in southeast France is preparing for the start-up of the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project. As its name states, ITER is a prototype reactor that will experiment under real conditions in generating energy from thermonuclear fusion. There are two types of nuclear reactions, fission and fusion. In nuclear fission, the nucleus of a heavy atom is split into several lighter nuclides. This releases neutrons and a large amount of energy. This process is used in nuclear power stations that operate on the basis of the fission of plutonium. Nuclear fusion is still an experimental process: two atomic nuclei are brought together to form a heavier nucleus. Their fusion releases tremendous amounts of energy from the mass defect. For the nuclei to be able to join together, however, they must be in a state of extreme thermal agitation, meaning they are immersed in a "fusion plasma". This phenomenon occurs naturally in stars, especially in the sun, where hydrogen nuclei fuse to produce helium, releasing huge amounts of heat and light. This reaction has been reproduced artificially for a number of years in laboratory conditions and military applications (the H bomb). But an experimental reactor had to be developed for fusion to be used to generate energy on an industrial scale. That is precisely the purpose of the ITER project, which will study on a large scale (500 MW) the scientific and technical feasibility of a reactor using Tokamak technology. The benefits of this process for generating energy are that it releases no greenhouse gases; the basic fuel (deuterium, a hydrogen isotope) is an almost inexhaustible resource since it is available in sea water; and it involves no risk of environmental accidents. Another advantage is that fusion produces only 1/100th of the waste produced by fission and the waste has a much shorter life cycle. This process for the future will be tested in Cadarache from 2016 in an international project bringing together scientific know-how from the European Union, Russia, China, the United States, India, Japan and South Korea.

Type: VNR   Reference: I-051123   Date: 24/05/2006   Duration: 07:47
Available Languages: INT, EN
To download, please log in

Related media

Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, 2980th meeting: ...
Ref: 67016
Date: 01/12/2009
Justice and Home Affairs Council, 2979th meeting: arrivals
Ref: 67011
Date: 01/12/2009
Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, 2980th meeting: ...
Ref: 67015
Date: 01/12/2009
Justice and Home Affairs Council, 2979th meeting: round table
Ref: 67012
Date: 01/12/2009
Eurogroup Meeting: round table
Ref: 67024
Date: 01/12/2009
Visit of Herman Van Rompuy, Belgian Prime Minister and President designate of ...
Ref: 67113
Date: 01/12/2009
Visit of José Manuel Barroso and Fredrik Reinfeldt, Swedish Prime Minister and ...
Ref: 67070
Date: 01/12/2009
Eurogroup Meeting: arrivals
Ref: 67023
Date: 01/12/2009
New Video Player (Version 1)
More info

Press packs

Go to useful links page Useful links

Go to rss page Go to EU Tube page Go to twitter page Go to facebook page Go to contact page

Credit © European Union, 2014