More funds sought for nuclear fusion project

Hindu Business Line

India responsible for 9% of in-kind contribution to the mission June 27, 2016

The world’s biggest nuclear fusion project, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER will require more funding from India for its timely execution.

The nodal agency for the project in India, the Institute for Plasma Research (IPR) in Gandhinagar had received initial funding of ₹2,500 crore from the Centre in 2006. Already over ₹2,000 crore has been spent towards R&D and manufacturing of key components for the first-ever project for nuclear fusion, which is aimed at creating a clean, safe and dependable energy source for the world.

“Due to progressive improvement in design and because of the slight delay (in the project), we need more funds. We were allocated ₹2,500 crore, when we started in 2006. It was divided into two parts, cash and in-kind. Now that we have already spent close to this, we have placed a revision in the allocation,” said Dhiraj Bora, Director, IPR — an autonomous institution under Department of Atomic Energy.

As an ITER member, India is responsible for about 9 per cent of in-kind contribution to the ITER project. This contribution will be in the engineering and development of key components including cryostat, cooling water systems, vessel in-wall shielding blocks, radio frequency heating sources, diagnostic neutral beam system among others.

ITER-India has already started supplying parts of Cryostat for the project that is being developed jointly with 35 ITER member nations, including China and the US. The ITER project is expected to have first demo by 2025 at Cadarache in Southern France.

Global scientists from the member nations of the European Union (EU) and six other countries are working on ITER, which aims to generate 500 MW of power from plasma burning at 170 million degrees Celsius by using one-tenth of energy to cool the reactor.