India has taken an enormous leap in the aerospace sector after the successful launch of its Chandrayaan 2 in July 2019. Now the world’s best scientists are trying to create a ‘miniature Sun’ on Earth and India is a partner of such a huge project.
India along with some other nations are planning to bring the Sun to Earth. India is among the other 35 countries that are working on the world’s largest fusion device, International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. The mega project will cost over Euro 20 billion, and India is a full partner in this mega project.
On a recently concluded trip to France, PM Modi has committed about Rs. 17,500 crore on this ITER Project.
This is the most expensive mega-science effort India is participating in, and globally ITER is the most expensive science project on Earth ever to be undertaken in the 21st century. – The Statesman.
What is the project?
ITER Tokamak is a massive 35-year-long collaborative project participated by USA, Russia, South Korea, China, Japan, European Union, and India to harness the power of nuclear fusion. A team of over one hundred Indians is trying to tap the Sun’s real energy to provide the world with an unlimited supply of clean energy. It is designed to produce 500MW from 50 MW input heating power in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France, and weighs 23,000 tonnes, which is three times the Eiffel Tower’s weight.
As part of this project, India has contributed the biggest component – the world’s largest refrigerator that houses this unique reactor which weighs over 3800 tonnes and is almost half the height of the Qutb Minar. India is also contributing all cooling systems, neutron seals, etc. Indian companies are providing all cooling systems, crinolines, warmlines, neutron seals, and many other components.
How is this project useful?
Such a project will be a potential source of safe, non-carbon emitting, and virtually limitless energy. According to a scientist, “the only CO2 produced during the project will be exhaled by the scientists.” It will also not generate any long-lived radioactive nuclear waste, unlike nuclear fission. Further for India, participating in such an experiment will have access to the experimental results and any generated intellectual property.
The operation is expected to start by 2025 and by 2040, the DEMO reactor, a full-scale electricity generating unit, will be complete.