Actual fusion power stations are still probably 40 years away, though. ITER is still a test facility and it`s far too expensive to use as a power station even if it was capable of sustained fusion at a high enough efficiency (which it won`t be).
But it is impressive and promising that multiple national governments have been co-operating on the project for 40 years and plan to continue it for 40 more.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 5:07:13 PM
[quote">Prototype containment for a fusion reactor? Sweet![/quote">
It's fully functional, several generations on from the first ones and has been running for 30 years.
The main problem is still the same, though - creating the conditions in which fusion can occur requires more energy than can be obtained from the fusion. JET holds the record, but it`s nowhere near sustainable breakeven point. It`s a research facility. It got to about 65% for a fraction of a second (q=~0.65). You need about q=10 sustained indefinitely for a viable power station.
But they`ve learned a lot from JET and are currently building ITER, a far bigger facility that`s the next step...and that should be able to reach q=10 for brief periods.
You`ve seen the photo of JET in this list. Here`s a photo of the foundation for the same structure in ITER, taken from much further away: