(Latin for "the way") is a critical step between today’s studies of plasma physics and tomorrow’s fusion power plants producing electricity and hydrogen. An unprecedented international collaboration of scientists and engineers led to the design of this advanced physics experiment. Project partners are China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. ITER is technically ready to start construction, with experimental operations planned to begin in approximately 10 years. The site selected for the project is Cadarache, in southeastern France. ITER is expected to operate for 20 years, and to demonstrate production of at least 10 times the power used to heat the fusion fuel. For more information, please visit the websites of the U.S. ITER Project Office
and the ITER International Organization
The DIII-D tokamak operated by General Atomics in San Diego, CA is the largest magnetic fusion facility in the United States. DIII-D provides for considerable experimental flexibility and has extensive diagnostic instrumentation to measure the properties of high temperature plasmas. It also has unique capabilities to shape the plasma and provide feedback control of error fields that, in turn, affect particle transport and the stability of the plasma. In addition, DIII-D has been a major contributor to the world fusion program over the past decade in the areas of plasma turbulence, energy transport, boundary layer physics, and electron-cyclotron plasma heating and current drive. For more information, please click here.
NSTX (the National Spherical Torus Experiment) is an innovative magnetic fusion device that was constructed by the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Columbia University, and the University of Washington at Seattle. It produces a plasma that is shaped like a sphere with a hole through its center, different from the "donut" shaped plasmas of conventional tokamaks. This configuration may have several advantages, a major one being the ability to confine a higher plasma pressure for a given magnetic field strength, which could enable the development of smaller, more economical fusion reactors. For more information, please click here.
Alcator C-Mod at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the only tokamak in the world operating at and above the ITER design magnetic field and plasma densities, and it produces the highest pressure tokamak plasma in the world, approaching pressures expected in ITER. It is also unique in the use of all-metal walls to accommodate high power densities. Because of these characteristics, C-Mod is particularly well suited to examine plasma regimes that are highly relevant to ITER. The facility has made significant contributions to the world fusion program in the areas of plasma heating and current drive, stability, and confinement in high field tokamaks. For more information, please click here.
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