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Fission is a reaction when the nucleus of an atom, having captured a neutron, splits into two or more nuclei, and in so doing, releases a significant amount of energy as well as more neutrons. These neutrons then go on to split more nuclei and a chain reaction takes place. Fusion is a process where nuclei collide and join together to form a heavier atom, usually deuterium and tritium. When this happens a considerable amount of energy gets released at extremely high temperatures: nearly 150 million degrees Celsius. At extreme temperatures, electrons are separated from nuclei and a gas becomes a plasma—a hot, electrically charged gas.
The IEA Fusion Power Co-ordinating Committee (FPCC) provides a platform for stakeholders to share results of fusion activities worldwide. These stakeholders include the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the European Commission (EURATOM), the International Tokamaks Physics Activity (ITPA), and Nuclear Energy Agency (experiments database).
The FPCC also oversees the activities of eight fusion energy technology initiatives (formally known as Implementing Agreements). These initiatives carry out research and development activities in areas ranging from technology to environmental and economic aspects of fusion power. Their work is directly relevant to the ITER project and the "beyond-ITER" programme, which focuses on fusion power plants, and the economic, environmental, safety and social aspects of fusion power.
The IEA together with the Nuclear Energy Agency developed a nuclear power roadmap in 2010 and are currently in the process of preparing an update to this roadmap.