The long-term objective of fusion research is to harness the nuclear energy provided by the fusion of light atoms to help meet mankind´s future energy needs. This research, which is carried out by scientists from all over the word, has made tremendous progress over the last decades. The fusion community is now ready to take the next step, and have together designed the international ITER experiment. The aim of ITER is to show fusion could be used to generate electrical power, and to gain the necessary data to design and operate the first electricity-producing plant.
The current participants to the project are the European Union (represented by EURATOM), Japan, the People´s Republic of China, India, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the USA.
The construction costs of ITER are estimated at five billion Euro over 10 years, and another five billion Euros are foreseen for the 20-year operation period. The contributions of the ITER Parties will for the largest part consist of components for the machine, so-called in kind contributions.
In June 2005, it was decided by the Parties to construct ITER in Cadarache, in the South of France. Currently, a joint implementation agreement is being prepared, which will establish the international ITER Organisation. The ITER Organisation will be responsible for all aspects of the project: the licensing procedure, hardware procurements mostly provided in kind by the Parties, the operation period, and ultimately for decommissioning of ITER at the end of its lifetime.
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