Scientists plan to make artificial sun in 2018
Published: Mar 17, 2011 05:09 PM Updated: May 25, 2011 01:04 PM

Dozens of top nuclear scientists around the world are busy working on the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) construction site in southern France. They plan to make an "artificial sun" in 2018.

Currently there are seven national and supranational parties participating in the multibillion-euro ITER project. They are the European Union, India, Japan, People's Republic of China, Russia, Republic of Korea, and the U.S.

ITER is designed to produce approximately 500 MW of fusion power sustained for up to 1,000 seconds through the fusion of about 0.5 g of deuterium mixture in its approximately 840 m3 reactor chamber.

Fusion has many potential attractions. As a "clean nuclear stove" it is considered an abundant fuel, intrinsically safe, no production of CO2 or atmospheric pollutants, and producing relatively short-lived waste. It may be the best hope to break the world's oil dependence and restrict climate-change damage.

While many have disputed the project's ability to create such an energy source, many scientists maintain such a fusion reactor could lesson China's energy crisis by providing cleaner endless energy at a significantly lower cost.