‘Walking towards the future, from Granada to the stars. IFMIF-DONES and fusion energy’ is the title of the exhibition inaugurated on 29th September in the Science Window area of the Science Park. The IFMIF-DONES Consortium, the Science Park, the FECYT and the University of Granada produce the collection.
The opening of this Window on Science offers visitors to the Science Park the opportunity to find out, much more in-depth and in a very visual way, all the details about the future particle accelerator, fusion energy and, in general, about the IFMIF-DONES project that is already being set up in the municipality of Escúzar.
Fusion energy is a clean, practically unlimited and safe energy, which can make us independent of traditional production systems but implies a high degree of innovation in research. Hence, the role of IFMIF-DONES as an essential facility to respond to some of these challenges is linked to the construction of future reactors, making it one of this century’s most important scientific projects.
The inauguration brought together representatives of the three institutions involved in the exhibition project: Ángel Ibarra, director of the IFMIF-DONES Consortium Spain; Luis Alcalá, director of the Science Park and Margarita Sánchez, vice-rector of university extension of the UGR, who were joined by Antonio Granados, government delegate of the Andalusian Regional Government; Gumersindo Fernández, territorial representative for Industrial Policy and Energy of the Andalusian Regional Government; Nicolás Navarro, first vice-president of the Provincial Council, and Antonio Arrabal, mayor of Escúzar.
The director of the Science Park, Luis Alcalá, who welcomed those attending the inauguration, emphasised that Granada is leading the way in a project that has the most significant impact on life: how society is seeking inexhaustible, clean and renewable energy.
In his speech, Ángel Ibarra stressed that the relevance of this particle accelerator is based on three reasons: “It will be one of the largest in the world, it will allow us to explore technological aspects that have not been developed so far in the field of accelerator technology, and it will provide a tool that will allow us to simulate the environment that would exist in a fusion reactor, as well as to test some of the components with which it is necessary to build a fusion reactor”. He also pointed out that there is no other environment on Earth where such experiments can be carried out. Therefore, it will be critical in developing fusion as an energy source.
In this context, and as it is a very complex project with terms and processes that are relatively difficult to explain and assimilate and which are not part of the general public’s knowledge, Ibarra stressed that the work of dissemination is essential: “First, because we scientists must justify our work, and second because the only way for a scientific facility to be successful is for the social environment to embrace it and show interest in it”.
Margarita Sánchez, the vice-rector of University Extension of the UGR, highlighted the importance of this facility for the University of Granada as a place “where we are generating first-class knowledge with a very relevant international character for society”. He also stressed that in this whole process, if we ignore dissemination, the research would not be complete: “It is essential to transmit what we do and the importance of science as a powerful instrument of social transformation”.
For his part, Antonio Granados reiterated the commitment of the President of the Junta, Juanma Moreno, to the IFMIF-DONES and assured that the Junta de Andalucía would provide 50 per cent of the investment and the other 50 per cent will be provided by the Spanish Government. He also recalled that the construction of the unique buildings is already underway in Escúzar and is a sign that the project is progressing and that Granada will be the world’s leader in fusion knowledge.
Granada’s drive for the energy of the future
The current energy situation is the exhibition’s starting point, which takes the visitor to a scenario where fusion energy becomes the solution to meet future energy demands.
IFMIF-DONES plays a crucial role in developing this energy of the future because its results will lead to significant conclusions on the materials to be used in future fusion reactors.
Source: Science Park