The goal of ITER is to demonstrate the scientific and technical feasibility of fusion energy, building on several decades of worldwide research on the physics and technology of magnetic confinement. ITER is the world’s largest and most complex energy research project undertaken with the prospect of an inexhaustible energy respectful of the environment. To meet this challenge an international collaboration of seven partners (EU, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States) has been established in order to build, operate ITER and share the scientific results. The presentation will summarise the motivation, the objectives, and the status of the project. The ITER project benefitted during last year from bold organizational changes. These changes, aimed at creating a focused Project Team, helped greatly to accelerate the pace of the construction. The presentation will give examples of major achievements obtained recently. Among these, an outstanding result obtained collectively is the progress in the manufacture of the superconducting cables: 90% of the needed cable-in-conduit have been produced fully complying with the technical requirements.
The presentation will also address the physics issues which will be most important during the commissioning and the various operation phases of ITER. Many of these issues are included in the experimental programs of existing (or about to start) experiments in the world physics community where European teams and facilities play a major role. The importance of collecting data in a number of innovative physics subjects will be stressed.