ITER (in Latin "the way") is designed to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy. Fusion is the process by which two light atomic nuclei combine to form a heavier over one and thus release energy. In the fusion process two isotopes of hydrogen - deuterium and tritium - fuse together to form a helium atom and a neutron. Thus fusion could provide large scale energy production without greenhouse effects; essentially limitless fuel would be available all over the world. The principal goals of ITER are to generate 500 megawatts of fusion power for periods of 300 to 500 seconds with a fusion power multiplication factor, Q, of at least 10.Q > 10 (input power 50 MW / output power 500 MW).
The ITER Organization was officially established in Cadarache, France, on 24 October 2007. The seven members engaged in the project - China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States - represent more than half the world's population. The costs for ITER are share by the seven members. The cost for the construcion will be approximately 5.5 billion Euros, a similar amount is foreseen for the twenty-year phase of operation and the subsequent decommissioning.