The organisation overseeing construction of the estimated €15bn (about $16bn) International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter) in southern France has agreed to look at the possibilities for expanding collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Possible areas of co-operation include knowledge management of new technology breakthroughs developed through Iter and global education initiatives in plasma physics and fusion technology. Since the late 1980s, the IAEA has provided a forum for collaboration among countries interested in demonstrating the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy and in 2007, the Iter International Fusion Energy Organisation was set up The IAEA director-general is the depositary for the Iter agreement, under which scientists are building the Iter experimental reactor at Cadarache in the csouth of France.
To date, the ground floor has been completed of a complex that will house the tokamak reactor, diagnostics and tritium buildings, according to Fusion for Energy (F4E), the EU agency providing the European contribution. F4E said progress on the first floor of the complex varies from 35% on the tritium building to 99% on the diagnostics building, where work on the second floor has also begun. The complex will house the Iter machine and more than 30 systems required for its operation. F4E said 300 workers from the Vinci Ferrovial Razel (VFR) consortium have been working on the construction of the complex.