With over 7,000 visitors in 2013, the newly formed ITER Visit Team has been busy welcoming and accommodating visitors since taking over visit coordination tasks last year from the Joint Visits Team (a joint venture between ITER Organization, Agence Iter France and the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy).
Agence Iter France has refocused its activities on school visits, welcoming over 8,000 schoolchildren in 2013 for a specially adapted program on fusion and site biodiversity.
While the ITER website has often been the first point of contact for the public and the fusion community, it is during an ITER visit that visitors get a chance to put a „face” to the Project. The purpose of the visits is to educate the public on fusion basics, acquaint them with the current status of the Project and take them on a tour of the construction site.
_To_69_Tx_The ITER Visit Team welcomes visitors of all backgrounds—from fusion experts to professionals, government delegations and the general public—drawing on the participation of many ITER staff members who volunteer their time as well as logistics support from Agence Iter France and Fusion for Energy.
From the 10 year old hearing about fusion for the first time, to the fusion experts finally seeing their research come to fruition, each ITER visit is specially tailored. Common questions range from „When will we have commercial fusion reactors?” and „How much does the ITER Project cost?” to „Where do we get tritium?” and „Why do we need it?”
The number of visitors has been steadily increasing since 2007, with over 65,000 cumulative visitors to the site (14,820 in 2013). School visits account for 53 percent of the visits in 2013, with the general public coming in at 21 percent and professionals making up the third largest category of visitors at 9 percent.