despite the war, Russia delivers an essential giant magnet


The war had completely pushed the subject into the background, and yet international cooperation with Russia has continued in many areas since the invasion of Ukraine. In fact, one of the projects where the country’s contribution is most essential is undoubtedly the experimental nuclear fusion reactor ITER, under construction in Cadarache in France.

The European Union, China, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States participate in the project. Many countries therefore that Russia considers “hostile”. But while the country led by Vladimir Putin is considering leaving the ISS after 2024, its participation in the ITER project does not seem to be in any way questioned for the time being.

Russia delivers to ITER a huge magnet under construction for 8 years

In fact, Russia has even just delivered a huge magnet essential to the construction of the largest Tokamak in the world. This 200-ton electromagnet, of the poloidal type, left the port of Saint-Petersburg last Tuesday, and should reach the port of Marseilles in a little less than two weeks. It was built under the supervision of the Rosatom agency.

“The current situation does not change the fact that we will fulfill our obligations”, said a spokesperson for the agency. While adding that geopolitical tensions “have practically not affected the realization of this project”. Rosatom adds that “without this element, the tokamak will not work”.

The construction of this particularly imposing electromagnet took almost 8 years. Rosatom and Russia seem aware of the stakes of the project which will ultimately benefit both Russia and its partners: “if this cooperation stopped everyone would lose: both Russia and the international community”.

And to add that ITER “is such an interesting project that, in reality, we are all one family…there is no competition between us, none”. As a reminder, the genesis of the ITER project goes back a long way, before the fall of the Soviet Union. The premises began in 1985 during a summit between President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.

The context of the two blocs has therefore made it possible to create particularly solid conditions for the pursuit of such a project, despite a certain risk of tension on other fronts – which is materializing today with the war in Ukraine. A priori, there is no reason that cooperation should not continue normally, whatever the outcome of the war raging in Eastern Europe.

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