Construction of the ITER project – a combined effort of China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States to build and operate a fusion reactor – has started at the reactor site in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France. The ITER council reports good progress in the manufacturing of Tokamak components and supporting systems. Major contracts have been placed recently and many leading industries are now involved in the project; the first delivery of large components is expected on site in the third quarter of 2014.
Project management is reported to have produced more efficient co-operation among ITER members and their correesponding domestic agencies in order to achieve faster decision making and improved work performance.
Significant progress was reported in the manufacturing of ITER magnets. More than 420 tons of niobium-tin strand (Nb3Sn) for the toroidal field conductors has now been produced by the six procuring members, representing 90 % of project needs. Also, 133 tons of niobium-titanium (NbTi) strand for the poloidal field conductors (51 percent of project needs) has been produced by China, Europe and the Russian Federation.
A special meeting with representation at ministerial level will take place on 6 September at Saint-Paul-lez-Durance to allow progress to be witnessed first-hand by all members.