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ITER: The Giant Fusion Reactor

Bringing a Sun to Earth

Authors: Claessens, Michel

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  • The only account published of the ongoing ITER fusion energy project
  • Examines the history, technical challenges, economics and international politics of this globally important endeavour
  • A must read for anyone interested in the energy future of our world
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eBook 16,04 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-27581-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover 20,79 €
price for Spain (gross)
About this book

This book provides for the first time an insider’s view into ITER, the biggest fusion reactor in the world, which is currently being constructed in southern France.
Aimed at bringing the “energy of the stars” to earth, ITER is funded by the major economic powers (China, the EU, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the US). Often presented as a “nuclear but green” energy source, fusion could play an important role in the future electricity supply. But as delays accumulate and budgets continue to grow, ITER is currently a star partially obscured by clouds. 
Will ITER save humanity by providing a clean, safe and limitless source of energy, or is it merely a political showcase of cutting-edge technology? Is ITER merely an ambitious research project and partly a PR initiative driven by some politically connected scientists? In any case, ITER has already helped spur on rival projects in the US, Canada and the UK. This book offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at this controversial project, which France snatched from Japan, and introduces them to a world of superlatives: with the largest magnets in the world, the biggest cryogenic plant and tremendous computing power, ITER is one of the most fascinating, and most international, scientific and technological endeavours of our time.   

About the authors

Michel Claessens is a scientist and essayist. He was head of communication and external relations of the ITER project from 2011 to 2016. His background is physical chemistry (PhD) and science journalism. He joined the European Commission in 1994 where has been acting Head of the Communication Unit in the Research Directorate-General, spokesperson for research, editor-in-chief of the "research*eu" magazine and in charge of the science and technology Eurobarometers until 2010. He is now in charge of ITER policy and communication in European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy.   
Michel is also teaching at the Free University of Brussels and has published a dozen of books and essays, including:

  • At the Human scale – International practices in science communication (avec Donghong Cheng, Jenni Metcalfe, Bernard Schiele, Toss Gascoigne et Shi Shunke), Science Press, 2006
  • Communicating European Research 2005 (M. Claessens editor), Springer, 2007
  • Communicating Science in Social Contexts (edited by D. Cheng, M. Claessens, T. Gascoigne, J. Metcalfe, B. Schiele, S. Shunke), Springer, 2008
  • Science communication in the world (Bernard Schiele, Michel Claessens and Shi Shunke editors), Springer, 2012

The author's TEDx talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsEoeEetmvk

Reviews

“[The author] unfolds a fascinating story which crisscrosses more than 40 years of the history of nuclear fusion in a simple, but not simplistic, way which is accessible to anyone with a will to stick to facts without prejudices. The full range of opinions on ITER’s controversial benefits and detriments are exposed and discussed in a fair way, and the author never hides his personal connection to the project as its head of communications for many years.” (Lucio Rossi, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, thebulletin.org, July 30, 2020)

“The strongest trait of this book is that it can be helpful and attractive for a wide range of audiences. … It can motivate young scientists to devote their careers to the research of nuclear fusion. It can teach the business partners to appreciate their collaboration with the ITER project. It can also help people from the fusion community learn how to talk about their work with non-specialists. … the book is truly unique, and I really recommend it for reading.” (Michael Komm, Fusion Science and Technology, July 9, 2020)       

“ITER — is a unique exercise in scientific diplomacy, and a politically driven project. It is also the largest international collaboration, and a milestone in the technological history of mankind. … I recommend Michel Claessens’ well written and easy-to-read book. It is passionate and informative and explores different points of view without fanaticism. Interestingly, his conclusion is not scientific or political, but socio-philosophical in nature: ITER will be built because it can be, he says, according to a principle of ‘technological necessity’.” (Lucio Rossi, CERN Courier, cerncourier.com, March 23, 2020)

“It´s a thrilling, informative and important book. … I invite every student in technology, environmental science, political science and philosophy and of cause every politician to read the book and reflect. … Read this important book!” (Steiner Management, February 18, 2020)

“Claessens' new book, titled ‘ITER: The Giant Fusion Reactor: Bringing a Sun to Earth,’ is a vivid account of humanity's decadeslong quest to achieve a near unlimited source of carbon-free energy by replicating the force that drives the solar system.” (Nathanial Gronewold, E&E News, eenews.net, February 12, 2020)

“Dr. Claessens is well positioned to write such a history, having been associated with the ITER project since 2011 and being in his present position since 2016. … In this 212 page book Claessens treats more than just a history of the ITER project. … this book is a bargain that no one interested in fusion and its future energy potential should pass up.” (Stephen O. Dean, Fusion Power Associates, December 11, 2019)
          

Table of contents (16 chapters)

Table of contents (16 chapters)
  • The Future of Energy

    Pages 1-9

    Claessens, Michel

  • What Is Nuclear Fusion?

    Pages 11-18

    Claessens, Michel

  • A Brief History of ITER

    Pages 19-34

    Claessens, Michel

  • Why in France?

    Pages 35-54

    Claessens, Michel

  • Building a Gigantic Machine

    Pages 55-78

    Claessens, Michel

Buy this book

eBook 16,04 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-27581-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover 20,79 €
price for Spain (gross)
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
ITER: The Giant Fusion Reactor
Book Subtitle
Bringing a Sun to Earth
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Copernicus
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-27581-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-27581-5
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-27580-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVIII, 216
Number of Illustrations
4 b/w illustrations, 18 illustrations in colour
Topics