ITER

OES/SAT participates in, and in certain cases leads, U.S. negotiations on large-scale science (i.e., “mega-science”) projects such as the International Space Station (ISS). The most recent of these projects is ITER, originally known as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, an international effort to build an experimental nuclear fusion test facility in southern France under a binding 2007 agreement among the EU, U.S., Russia, Japan, China, Republic of Korea and India. ITER is designed to determine whether nuclear fusion can become a commercially viable energy source for the world by the middle of the century. Fusion has tremendous advantages over conventional nuclear fission in that, in addition to emitting no air or carbon pollution, would have no risk of accidental radiation release, no long-lived radioactive waste, and virtually minimal nuclear proliferation risks.