1985 - A proposal was received from the then Soviet Union to jointly build the next-generation Tokamak installation, using the experience of the four leading world TCB programs. The United States of America, in consultation with Japan and the European Community, put forward a proposal on how to carry out such activities.
1988 - The ITER KP (conceptual design) phase began by the four ITER Parties in April 1988 and was successfully completed in December 1990. This phase confirmed the general program and technical goals of the next-generation installation and laid the foundation for orienting the thermonuclear programs of the Parties towards a common task .
1992 - In July 1992, four Parties began the phase of technical design (TP) - the current phase of ITER. Canada and Kazakhstan joined the project in association with Euratom and the Russian Federation respectively. Initially, the TA stage was determined for a six-year period during which the Parties agreed to jointly (and on the basis of equal contribution) prepare a detailed, completed and fully integrated technical project for ITER and all the technical data necessary for making subsequent decisions regarding the construction of ITER.
Six years of joint work culminated in the development of the first comprehensive technical project for a fusion reactor based on well-verified physical data and technologies. The project meets the ITER overall program objective and the technical goals and approaches adopted by the ITER Parties at the beginning of the technical design phase.
1998 - At that time, the ITER Parties were not able, for financial reasons, to begin construction. ITER options were considered that reduced the cost by changing the technical goals of ITER and the possible reduction of technical requirements while maintaining the overall program objective. The goal was to reduce the cost by about 50% of the cost of the previous project, and the TA phase was extended until July 2001 to carry out this work (although the United States decided to leave the project at the end of fiscal 1999). The work focused on key issues related to revised technical goals, using an already developed database, while understanding the choices and concessions that need to be made between performance and cost reduction.
2000 - At the end of 1999, the main characteristics of the installation under the new name ITER-FEAT were transferred in a special report (Outline Design Report) to the ITER Parties for further study. During 2000, this project continues to be finalized in order to prepare a final report on the ITER project in July 2001. In 2001, the technical design of the ITER reactor was completed.
2005 - June 28, 2005, the site was finally chosen for the construction of the installation - a neighborhood of the city of Cadarache in southern France. Preparations have begun for the construction of the ITER complex at the selected site.
2007 - October 24, the ITER Organization Agreement, signed by representatives of the European Atomic Energy Community, the Governments of India, China, the Republic of Korea, Russia, the USA and Japan, officially entered into force.