Colloquium on fusion power and the ITER experimental fusion reactor – Monday 14th August

 I receive the abstracts of the School of Physics Colloquia at the University of Sydney, and this one, on the recently agreed to new experimental fusion reactor in France, ITER, should be very interesting.

Like many people with a math background, I’ve imagined that fusion will be the source of much of our electricity, if and when the technology and economics makes it possible. I bet it’ll happen within my lifetime (optimistically, sometime in the next 70 years!).


                   Monday 14th August, 2006 at 3:15 pm

Venue:     Slade Lecture Theatre, Ground  Floor, School of Physics

Title:               Fusion Energy and ITER

Presenter:              Dr. Barry J. Green
                    Directorate-General for Research,
                      European Commission, Brussels Abstract
The development of modern civilisation has been made possible by
accessible and readily exploitable energy sources. Energy is vital to
our lives. In recent years, the supply of energy for this and future
generations has become a major issue, with the prospect of the
traditional, cheap energy sources becoming scarce, with energy exports
being increasingly used as a political tool, and with serious concerns
about the environmental effects of energy use. Fusion is an energy
source as yet untapped by man. It is the process which powers the sun
and the stars. As such it is the source of terrestrial life itself.
The dream is to control fusion processes to provide energy on earth,
and the main advantage is that the fuel resources are so abundant that
there will never be a shortage on a realistic time-scale. Research into
controlling the fusion process, one of the ultimate energy challenges,
has been going on in many countries. This year, an international
agreement between countries representing over half the world’s
population will be signed to construct and operate a large experimental
device, ITER (which is Latin for the way) which should demonstrate the
scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy for peaceful
In this lecture, Dr. Green will discuss the issue of energy, the fusion
process and its advantages as a source of energy, the nature and
history of fusion research and development which makes ITER the next, logical
step on the path to developing a fusion power producing reactor. He
will also present the status of the ITER project and outline the future of
fusion power development. Australia has been involved in this area of
research since the early 1960s, and although its research efforts are
small relative to the programmes of larger nations, it hopes to
participate in the ITER experimental programme. Although Australia is
blessed with significant resources of primary energy, the policy to
determine its future energy mix has still to be decided.

In this regard, Australia’s involvement in fusion research should be considered as an
important investment for the future.

Dr Lucyna Kedziora-Chudczer
School of Physics A28
The University of Sydney

Ph:   +61 2 9351 6080
Fax : +61 2 9351 7726

4 Responses to Colloquium on fusion power and the ITER experimental fusion reactor – Monday 14th August

  1. Steve says:

    I’ve been meaning to say that this looks interesting and I am thinking of going along as I have monday’s off and the uni is a short walk from home. I’ll give you a report if I do.

  2. Steve says:

    Unfortunately things conspired against me and I didn’t make it along.

  3. Sacha says:

    Arrggghhhh!!! No doubt Dr Green will give the talk a number of other times. I went to a talk on one potential design for a fusion reactor a couple of years ago – I forget the design of the potential reactor except that it wasn’t the usual torus type of design – it’s all very interesting!

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