Part of World’s Most Advanced Nuclear Fusion Project to Be Located in Croatia?

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Some say this will be the most complex device in human history.

The most complex device in the history of human civilisation, the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), is now 50 percent complete, it was announced recently from the French nuclear centre Cadarache, where the “mini-sun” is being constructed. The ITER, a project worth 22 billion euros, is the most significant international scientific initiative today, run jointly by the European Union, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Russia and the United States. Its goal is to develop energy production through fusion, a nuclear process which naturally takes place in the Sun and other stars, reports Jutarnji List on December 8, 2017.

“The ITER project concept was conceived in 1985 when Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan met in Geneva,” said Bernard Bigot, general manager of the ITER, stressing that the project enjoys support from the current world leaders as well. The construction of ITER began in 2006, and the completion is expected in about 2025. The ultimate goal is for the fusion commercial energy production to start by 2050.

One of those involved in the project is Tonči Tadić from the Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB) in Zagreb and the coordinator of the Croatian fusion research unit (CRU), who says that part of the initiative is the construction of the DEMO demonstration reactor by 2035. As a critical facility required to test the radiation resistance of all DEMO materials, a 550 million euro DONES device also has to be built, and candidates for the location of this facility are Croatia, Poland and Spain.

“A formal decision on the location has not yet been adopted at the EU level, but Croatia and Spain are the remaining candidates. A special working group visited Spain at the end of June and Croatia in early July. Their final report gave almost equal marks to both bids, with a slight advantage for Spain. The key is that we have achieved an agreement with our colleagues from Spain: if DONES ends up here, they will be our priority partners and vice versa. The Spaniards have accepted this with pleasure,” said Tadić.

He emphasised that the leading Croatian and Spanish scientific institutes, the IRB and the CIEMAT, had signed a cooperation agreement on DONES and fusion in general. “A similar agreement between the relevant ministries from Croatia and Spain is being negotiated. The European Commission has very positively assessed the agreements between Croatia and Spain on DONES, as a positive example of co-operation between EU member states. Instead of trying to hamper competitors, we have developed a good cooperation, and it is a win-win situation for both countries,” concluded Tadić.

Translated from Jutarnji List.


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