After more than a decade of design, manufacturing and construction, the ITER fusion machine officially entered its assembly phase on July 28th 2020 with a grand ceremony broadcast around the globe from Cadarache.

In each of the countries participating in the project to bring a small sustainable sun to Earth, the public’s interest piqued again, and experts hurried to explain why ITER is such a big deal for humankind.

Structural diagram of ITER tokamak machine

In Slovenia, it was no different. Dr. Mark Pleško, the CEO of Cosylab, the Slovenian company that contributes the most to ITER with its control-system integration knowhow, in the Manager magazine again explained in layman’s terms the importance of ITER.

He put three main engineering challenges of ITER at the forefront: the enormous complexity of the entire system, the vast amount of data streaming, and the fact that some devices have to operate in a specific time sequence, to less than a microsecond.

However,” Dr. Pleško stresses, “the largest challenge of the ITER project is not that it is the greatest scientific experiment but that it is also a social trial. The participating countries unite almost half of humanity and have to work in unity towards a common goal“.

Interview in Slovenian magazine Manager: