India is consistently delivering in-kind contribution to the world's largest first-of-its-kind upcoming fusion reactor ITER in southern France. But India has not been fulfilling in-cash contribution, said its Director-General Bernard Bigot on Tuesday.
Overall, Covid-19 impact may delay ITER's schedule towards achieving the first plasma in 2025, but the machine, which replicates the fusion power of the sun, is on track for full fusion power as per timeline of 2035, he said. All elements of the cryostat, the world's largest high-vacuum pressure chamber, have now been delivered by India, and welding has begun on the final piece -- the cryostat lid.
"India has also delivered 100 per cent of the components needed for ITER's secondary cooling water system, and we are about 95 per cent complete with the delivery and installation of cryolines and other piping for the cryogenics system.
"And India has completed 100 per cent of the manufacturing of the in-wall shield blocks that line the vacuum vessel. So I would say this is a major success for the in-kind contribution.
"The main concern with India is the payment of annual in-cash contribution to allow the ITER components once on site to be assembled and installed by the ITER Organization," he said.
Bigot was categorically clear in saying, "There are quite significant shortfalls that could soon strongly impact the ITER schedule."