Today's Editorial

Today's Editorial - 11 March 2023

Commissioning of ITER’s first phase

Source: By SRINIVAS LAXMAN: The Times of India

The first phase of commissioning of the seven-nation International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), of which India is a part, at Cadarache in France is expected in 2028.

India formally joined the ITER project in 2005 and is a 10 per cent stake holderITER-India is the nodal agency for the country’s participation in the $45-65 billion ITER project.

Speaking to TOI, AV Ravi Kumar, scientific officer and head, outreach division of the Gandhinagar-based Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), and Kartik Mohan, scientist of ITER-India, said that of the nine packages which are India’s share of the project, four have already been delivered.

These are the cryostat (which is the world’s largest and heaviest component), the water cooling and heat rejection system, the in-wall shielding as well as the cryo lines and cryo distribution system. The remaining five are in the process of being delivered and are currently on schedule.

Kumar said the cryostat, made of steel and weighing 3,400 tonnes, was built in four parts and shipped to Cadarache in south of France. “The lower part of the cryostat has already been installed at the ITER site,” he said.

IPR and ITER-India, which comes under the department of atomic energy, are participating in the five-day Maha Edu Fest, which began at the Lokseva e-school in Pune. The event is organised by the Indo Science Education Trust and the NM Foundation and Research Centre.

The outreach division of IPR, which has set up this exhibition, has over 25 models, of which a majority are working interactive ones, depicting various forms of plasma, their many applications as well as models of ‘tokamak’ and details of the ITER project.

Kumar explained that though IPR has two ‘tokamaks’ — which are essentially devices where hot plasma is generated, magnetically confined and studied — no fusion reaction is carried out in these machines.

“The studies carried out in these machines will help us learn more about hot plasma and how to sustain and control them, which are essential precursors to doing actual fusion reactions in the future,” Kumar added.