What do The Dark Knight Rises, Back to the Future, Oblivion, and Interstellar have in common ? They are sci-fi megahits that showcase a technology that scientists consider the Holy Grail of Energy: Nuclear fusion . Since the 1950s, moviegoers, scientists, and clean-energy buffs everywhere have obsessed about the vast possibilities of harnessing the almost inexhaustible supply of energy locked within atoms by creating our own miniature suns. Unfortunately, practical nuclear fusion technology has remained just that–a dream and a far-off mirage. That is, until now. After 35 years of painstaking preparation and countless delays, scientists have finally broken ground by kicking off the five-year assembly phase of the massive International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the world’s largest fusion reactor, in Saint-Paul-les-Durance, France. Funded by six nations, including the US, Russia, China, India, Japan, and South Korea, ITER will be the world’s largest tokamak fusion device with an estimated […]