20 Nov (NucNet): All milestones for the multinational International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) under construction in the south of France have been achieved with the facility on schedule for first plasma in 2025 and full-power operation in 2035, the project’s governing body has said. At a meeting on 16 November 2017 the ITER Council said the ITER Organisation and the domestic agencies, which were created by ITER project members to liaise between their governments and ITER, have achieved all council-approved milestones for 2016 and 2017, maintaining “strict adherence to the overall project schedule”. The council said processes for schedule control, risk management and cooperation continue to improve, with project performance metrics that now measure physical progress in construction, manufacturing, assembly and installation down to the level of each building system and component. The statement made no mention of the actual cost of the project, but ITER has previously put it at around €15bn (about $17.6bn). ITER is designed to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion power and will be the world’s largest experimental fusion facility. Fusion is the process that powers the sun and the stars. Europe is contributing almost half of the costs of its construction. The other six members of the venture – China, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the US – are contributing equally to the rest.