The world's biggest nuclear fusion plant is now 50% complete
The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor has reached the halfway milestone.
FRANCE — Construction on the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in southern France has reached the important halfway milestone.
The ITER project consists of 35 nations working on the most complex reactor ever built, consisting of over one million different components, Newsweek reported.
Fusion energy looks to replicate the same process that powers the sun by converting hydrogen atoms into helium through a process that occurs at extreme temperatures, the Guardian reported.
The ITER hopes to use hydrogen fusion controlled by massive superconducting magnets to create heat energy that can drive turbines to produce electricity.
The energy produced would have zero carbon emissions, and could potentially be done at low cost if the production scale is large enough.
The reactor will have to be able to sustain temperatures 150 million degrees celsius — 10 times hotter than the sun's core.
The massive donut-shaped tokamak reactor will be surrounded by giant magnets that take superheated plasma away from the metal walls of the container. This requires the magnets to be cooled to -269 degrees celsius.
The next milestone for the project will be to get to "first plasma" by December 2025 in order to prove the concept is viable.
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