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TEDxDaedeokValley-KiJung Jung- ITER, towards the Dream of a Fusion Energy Era

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Hello. I am Kijung Jung I am current Director General of ITER Korea at the NFRI. The first presenter talked about different types of people. I think I fit into the 'Taeum' category. Everything seems to fit except for one thing. I am very hardworking. The presenter said I should be lax. I have been hardworking all my life. I have considered it rewarding to have worked at a research institute, and it is because of this that I have today the honor and delight to talk to you. I would like to talk to you about the ITER project which will lead to the age of fusion energy. As the next to last speaker today, I am about to give all of you a major present. The present is the news that the age of fusion energy is coming. Please listen to my story carefully with our hope and conviction today. First, before I go into fusion, I would like to start with some comments on a different topic. This shows the past and present of Korea. If we look at the 1960's, Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. How then did it become one of the top 10 economic powers in just 40 years? This is quite amazing. For people like me who saw poverty during childhood, this can only be explained as a miracle. Let us move on to science. Please raise your hand if you are not familiar with the equation E=mc2. We have one person Are you in kindergarten? primary school? Yes. If you are in early primary school, you may not know this. 99.9% of the people here know this. Those like me who study nucler fission or fusion, this is a very familiar equation. However, it is so famous that even primary school children know it. This is very amazing. Let us take a look at 'Daeduk' science town. First, the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI). How did KAERI after less than 50 years develop technology that is the world's largest, the world's best and exportable with a recent purchase by the UAE? This too is an amazing feat. Take now the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI). It developed DRAM chips, CDMA and other things faster than in other countries creating national wealth. Such activities are taking place in 'Daeduk'. Not the least, take a look at recent amazing developments at the NFRI. Frankly speaking, the NFRI which had not many notable research accomplishments by 1995 after less than 20 years developed a world best tokamak which in 2008 successfully produced First Plasma. I cannot but marvel at this feat. This result was created by the many Korean Einsteins seen in this picture. Please give them an applause. Let me move closer to my main point today. Many people link the problems of energy with problems on the environment. This is very ironic. While many people mention that fossil fuels will soon be depleted, they simultaneously contribute the problems on the environment to their use. Simple logic would suggest that to lessen the environmental impact, less fuel should be used. However, people continue to use fossil fuels resulting in the environmental problems. This is the big irony. As shown here, in the case of oil, there is only 40 years of supply left. Yet nobody here is thinking of getting rid of his or her car due to the global oil problem. Reducing or suppressing human desire is very difficult. What solution is there that can address the problems of the environment, human consumption and the energy problem all at once? Development of alternate sources of energy would be the best solution. But, common wind, solar and hydraulic power, though they may last a long time, cannot satisfy the demand because of their limited power. Considering nuclear power, it can be produced on a large scale and is economical. But, in view of safety and potential accidents, it is difficult to consider it the final alternate energy source. Fortunately, man has considered fusion energy for a long time. So, once the technical issues are solved, fusion energy will forever be able to provide the energy needs of humankind. I believe in this as I take part in this project. In Korea, we tend to associate the word nuclear with fusion energy. This is not the case in other countries. Fusion energy has many advantages. Let me mention a few. First, fusion energy is clean. It does not create dust nor greenhouse gases. Thus, environmental problems are not associated with it. The main difficulty with nuclear energy is the high levels of radioactive waste. But, in fusion such high level waste is not created. As such, it is much easier to manage. Second, fusion is very safe. Some say that no one can fully assure safety. I can accept this view. Thus, like gas used at home, if you close the fuel valve, fusion reactions stop. So, we say that fusion energy is intrinsically safe. The third advantage may be the most important, As with solar, wind and hydraulic power, the source of fusion energy is virtually limitless. The reason is that fusion makes use of sea water, and sea water is virtually limitless. Nobody can say that there is supply for only 100 years or even 1000 years. It is fortunate and amazing that 1 ton of sea water is equivalent to 250 tons of oil in terms of extractable energy. Can anybody imagine how much energy sea water holds? How many years do you think we can use sea water? Other minerals may by more problematic, but they too are not of much concern. This is the biggest advantage of fusion. Let me return to the NFRI. As mentioned earlier, KSTAR was developed very successfully at the NFRI. Thus, almost everybody is aware of KSTAR from news reports from the past 3 to 4 years, Has anyone not heard of KSTAR? There are only 3 to 4 people. Everybody else has heard of it. Most of you are from the Daeduk science town, so I presume few are not aware of KSTAR. KSTAR is a star of Korea. However, it is no longer just a star of Korea. It is a star in the world physics community. Currently, there is no other experimental research device of this caliber, and because of this many physicists around the world wish to come to Korea to perform joint research. They wouldn't do so if the device was not of such high standards. The success of Korea mentioned earlier lead to KSTAR which is leading to further results in fusion research, and the next ambitious step is participating in the ITER project. Let's take a look at the ITER project. As you can see here, the ITER project involves Korea and China, India, the USA, the EU, Japan and Russia, the major world powers all participating to build the world's largest tokamak fusion device ever. Korea is participating as an equal partner. The EU is participating as a single member under the name of EURATOM, however, EURATOM consists of 28 countries. Consequently, there are actually 34 participating countries. If you compare the 7 members, Korea is the smallest. And, no member country has fewer than 100 million in population The ITER project plans to produce the equivalent power of a 500MW nuclear power plant at 1/6th scale from fusion energy. The output energy is set at a goal of 10 times the input energy. This ratio is typically named Q, and if Q is between 30 and 50, it is considered commercially viable. In terms of total scale even KSTAR which we have talked about is only 1/25 of the volume of ITER. Construction is that of a gigantic fusion experimental device. This is Cadarache in southern France. ITER is being built here. The total area is 180 hectare or about 550 thousand 'pyung'. Construction is current needed for 40 buildings. Right now, ground work for the tokamak building and construction of the PF coil building are taking place. Work for the ITER headquarters building has also started. The site is bristling with construction activity. This is the ITER Organization. At this moment, there are about 500 people including 300 specialists working at the ITER Organization. There are 34 countries represented, so there are 34 different varieties of English and 34 different cultures. It is important for the success of ITER to build up an international organization that accommodates the cultures and variations in language. World scholars in physics are also involved. So, ITER cannot but succeed. Among these are Korean scholars and engineers, 26 selected scientists working there for the future of fusion and future national fusion research development. Please give them an applause of encouragement. The ITER device is divided into 90 parts to be constructed among the member countries. Korea has 9 procurement packages which we must deliver on time. The other countries have similar obligations for the operation of the facility. Why do we need to participate in ITER? The biggest issue is that Korea's energy problem is that serious. For a country that imports 97% of its energy, participation in ITER and realization of fusion power is of the utmost importance. Constructing a device like ITER alone would be too much of an economic burden for a single country. ITER alone will cost more than 7 billion euros or 10 trillion Korean won. Sharing the project will provide opportunities and lessen the risk. The technology involved is the most advanced. If Korea does not obtain such advanced technology, its competitiveness will be weaker. Please take a look at this map. Korea is in the middle, deliberately so. What I want to say is that it is time we contribute to the well being of humanity. Our country has developed to the point of a major economic power. One of our duties should be the mutual prosperity of humankind. This was already part of a national proclamation Many people ask when it will be viable. Many experts estimate that it will be in 30 to 40 years. I must agree. Everybody in the audience will be alive in 2040, won't you? You can all expect to be here. By then, life expectancy will be almost 100 years. So, all of you will see the age of fusion energy. You must encourage and cheer the success of ITER and KSTAR. On that note, I ask that you give an applause for their success. Fusion is not a detour but our hope. And, as I said at the beginning, fusion energy will be available. Scientists and humanity will do their utmost for its success. That is the case for me and for you, I hope you strive for it. Thank you.

Video Details

Duration: 19 minutes and 55 seconds
Country: South Korea
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 80
Posted by: tedxdaedeokvalley on May 29, 2011

Dr. Ki-Jung Jung in Korea at the National Fusion Research Institute(KNFRI) is director general of ITER Korea. He talks about the effort of people who are trying to realizing the fusion energy which is the new energy of the future. He finds the hope of the energy crisis through ITER project which is ongoing in France under the leadership of 7 countries. more links :

국가핵융합연구소 정기정 한국이터사업단장은 인류 미래 에너지인 핵융합에너지와 이를 실현하고자 하는 인류의 노력을 보여준다.
현재 진행중인 국제 협력 프로젝트 이터를 통해 미래 인류의 에너지 문제 해결에 대한 희망을 제시한다. 연사정보 더보기 :

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