13b pound project could generate unlimited supply of clean, cheap energy
London: A 13 billion pound project has found a solution to climate change and an age of clean, unlimited energy.
An idyllic hilltop setting in the Cadarache forest of Provence in south of France has become the site of an ambitious attempt to harness nuclear power of the sun and stars.
34 nations representing more than half the world`s population have joined forces in the biggest scientific collaboration on the planet.
The international nuclear fusion project - named Iter, meaning "the way" in Latin - is designed to demonstrate a new kind of nuclear reactor that is capable of producing unlimited supplies of cheap, clean, safe and sustainable electricity from atomic fusion, the Independent reported.
If the project demonstrates that it is possible to construct commercially-viable fusion reactors then it may become the experiment that saved the world in a century threatened by climate change and an expected three-fold increase in global energy demand.
It gained final approval for the design of the most technically challenging component - the fusion reactor`s "blanket" that will handle the super-heated nuclear fuel.
The building site has also passed the crucial stage where some 493 seismic bearings - giant concrete and rubber plinths - have been set into the reactor`s deep foundations to protect against possible tremors.
Over the next few years about a million individual components of the fusion reactor will arrive at the Cadarache site from around the world and will be assembled in a nearby building that has a volume equal to 81 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Carlos Alejaldre, Iter`s deputy director responsible for safety, said that it is the largest scientific collaboration in the world and the project is so complex that they have even had to invent their own currency - known as the Iter Unit of Account - to decide how each country pays its share.
He said that the team has passed from the design stage to being a construction project.
He asserted that a Fukushima-like accident is impossible at Iter as the fusion reaction is fundamentally safe and any disturbance from ideal conditions and the reaction will stop, adding that a runaway nuclear reaction and a core meltdown are simply not possible.
Conventional nuclear power produces energy by atomic fission - splitting of the heavy atoms of uranium fuel. This experimental reactor attempts to fuse together the light atoms of hydrogen isotopes and, in the process, to liberate virtually unlimited supplies of clean, safe and sustainable energy.
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