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Plan is to generate first ultra-hot plasma at €20bn facility in 2025 The €20bn project will replicate the reactions that power the sun and is intended to demonstrate fusion power can be generated on a commercial scale. Photo courtesy Iter. The world’s largest nuclear fusion project began its five-year assembly phase on Tuesday in southern France, with the first ultra-hot plasma expected to be generated in late 2025.

The €20bn Iter (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project will replicate the reactions that power the sun and is intended to demonstrate fusion power can be generated on a commercial scale.

The steel and concrete superstructures nestled in the hills of southern France will house a 23,000-tonne machine, known as a tokamak, capable of creating what is essentially an earthbound star.

Millions of components will be used to assemble the giant reactor, which will weigh 23,000 tonnes and the project is the most complex engineering endeavour in history. Almost 3,000 tonnes of superconducting magnets, some heavier than a jumbo jet, will be connected by 200km of superconducting cables, all kept at -269C by the world’s largest cryogenic plant.

Date: Wednesday, 29 July 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/world-s-largest-nuclear-fusion-project-under-assembly-in-france-7-2-2020

Policy uncertainty is ‘preventing industry from making investment decisions’ Policy uncertainty in a number of countries is preventing the nuclear industry from making investment decisions and “forthright recognition” by governments of the value of nuclear energy would encourage policymakers to explicitly include nuclear in their long-term energy plans and commitments under the Paris Agreement, the International Energy Agency has said.

The Paris-based agency said in a report on meeting climate goals that nuclear policy uncertainty is partly the result of inconsistencies between stated policy goals – such as climate change mitigation – and policy actions.

While some countries maintain they can meet decarbonisation objectives while phasing out nuclear (Belgium, Germany, Spain, Switzerland) or reducing its share (France), others continue to recognise the need to increase nuclear reliance: China, Russia, India, Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and Uzbekistan.

In late 2018, the EU long-term energy strategy clearly stated that nuclear power – together with renewables – will form the backbone of the EU power system in order to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, the IEA said. At the same time, ongoing EU taxonomy discussions regarding the eligibility of nuclear power generation for sustainability funding highlight the difficulties in recognising the contribution that nuclear energy makes to climate change mitigation.

Date: Friday, 12 June 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/agency-calls-for-forthright-recognition-of-nuclear-energy-6-4-2020