ITER Boundary Imaging System
Australia's contribution to the ITER project
The ITER tokamak reactor – essentially a man-made sun – is expected to demonstrate the technical feasibility of fusion power. Now under construction in France, and supported by governments representing more than half the population of the planet, ITER is expected to produce 500 MW of fusion power – roughly ten times more power than it consumes. It is the final step before the commissioning of a demonstration power plant for commercial fusion power generation in the second half of this century or perhaps sooner.
The ITER Boundary Imaging System (IBIS) is an exciting once-only opportunity for Australia to build its own high-impact program on the world’s largest physics experiment at a tiny fraction of the total cost of the ITER device.
At the invitation of the ITER Organisation (IO), the Australian National University (ANU) together with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), proposes to establish a national fusion program on ITER based around advanced “coherence imaging” systems. For modest investment over 10 years, Australia could leverage access to the multi-billion Euro ITER device - the world's largest energy research project, and one of the biggest and most complex devices ever built.
Engaging with ITER will prepare Australia for the coming fusion era. It will:
- Leverage research access to the world’s largest science and energy project at a cost that is roughly 0.1% of the overall ITER infrastructure investment.
- Deliver a high-impact, high-visibility Australian fusion physics program.
- Enhance the ANU-ANSTO program on advanced materials for fusion.
- Open new opportunities for Australian industry.
- Inspire the next generation of Australian scientists and engineers.