ITER, the energy project of the future

Hydrogen fusion could be used as a large-scale energy source. ©ITER

Located in the Bouches-du-Rhône region of France, Iter is considered the world’s most ambitious project in the field of energy.

With a concept inspired by the stars, this future experimental nuclear fusion reactor – on which assembly began in the summer of 2020 – involves 35 countries and numerous French industrial players such as Vinci and Air Liquide.

Just what is the principle behind this giant reactor? Reproducing the hydrogen fusion reaction that naturally occurs in the solar and stellar cores to produce energy on a massive scale. In contrast to nuclear power, the waste of which remains hazardous for tens of thousands of years, the waste from hydrogen fusion would be much less radioactive and shorter in lifespan.

It was Emmanuel Macron who cut the ribbon on this gigantic project, when assembly began on the reactor at the Iter site, in Saint-Paul-lès-Durance.

The aim is to be able to connect fusion reactors derived from Iter to the electricity grid by 2060. On this future 180-hectare site, where an estimated 1,000 people will be directly employed, the core of the machine will be used to demonstrate that fusion can be used as a large-scale energy source.

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