News // Ecology
ITER Mission — The Way To 2000 Yrs Of Fuel Unconcern
30 June 2005 , 09:19780
Record oil prices raised concerns on threat of global energy crisis, and many experts forecast that the crisis is really emerging.
Some people decided to solve the problem- meet ITER, an international project at the experimental stage called the "International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor?.
ITER ("the way" in Latin) could supply "enough electricity to last the world for the next 1,000 years." According to the official site, it is ?a multinational collaboration between all the countries involved in fusion research worldwide. The collaboration involves primarily scientists, who establish the requirements of the experiment and eventually will measure its success, and engineers, who find ways to produce these required conditions safely, reliably and as cheaply as possible, and who in its operation will also gain design information for future fusion power plants.?
ITER is the experimental step between today?s studies of plasma physics and tomorrow's electricity-producing fusion power plants. It is based around a hydrogen plasma torus operating at over 100 million ?C, and will produce 500 megawatts of fusion power.
"ITER seeks to mimic the way the sun produces energy, potentially providing an inexhaustible source of low-cost energy using seawater as fuel. ITER would have an advantage over current nuclear reactors because it would be cleaner."
A leading scientist involved with the project said yesterday "If we can really make this work, there will be enough electricity to last the world for the next 1,000 to 2,000 years. So it is really quite important but quite difficult to do it." He went on to compare the level of complexity involved to "landing a man on the moon." Optimists and believers in human advancement will note that this was achieved decades ago.
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