The Italian Ambassador to Paris, Emanuela D’Alessandro, recently visited ITER, near Cadarache (Aix-en-Provence), the world’s leading experimental site for thermonuclear fusion, whose primary objective is to demonstrate the feasibility of producing energy in a sustainable, potentially inexhaustible manner. Welcomed by the Director-General, Pietro Barabaschi, the Ambassador visited the site and met the 100 or so Italians working there.
“I am very pleased,” said Ambassador D’Alessandro, “to visit one of the world’s leading research sites, where work is being done to recreate on Earth the same working mechanism as the Sun, potentially unlimited and clean. I am even more pleased to see how prominent Italy is here, in terms of personnel, scientific contribution and industrial participation.”
ITER is an ambitious international project under construction in the south of France, with a very high scientific, technological and industrial content. The seven members (the European Union, Japan, the USA, India, the Republic of Korea, China and Russia) signed the founding agreement in November 2006. The Italian industrial system is making an essential contribution to the design, supply and construction of ITER, having been awarded, as part of international tenders, activities with very high added value that are an expression of the most innovative technology and science (vacuum chamber, superconducting magnets, machine assembly and plant installation). Italian universities are also actively involved in the project’s experimental activities. These include the University of Padua with equipment to simulate plasma heat injection systems and the University of Pisa for the verification of vacuum condensation systems.