One giant leap for mankind: £13bn Iter project makes breakthrough in quest for nuclear fusion, a solution to climate change and an age of clean, unlimited energy - Science - News - The Independent
Construction has started on this project in Provence, France, but there is still a considerable amount of time and effort before this becomes a reality. The theoretics behind nuclear fusion reactors dictates that the conditions must absolutely be and remain perfect for the fusion reaction to take place, so they are building this thing to withstand any force of nature (aside from a world ending meteor strike, of course).
Construction is scheduled to end in mid-late 2022, which is still a fairly long way away. Even then, this being used as an energy source for public consumption will take even longer; The reactor that is being built now is just a test bed to make sure the theories behind nuclear fusion are sustainable. If they are, they'll be able to "cheaply" replicate the designs for future use in commercial energy grids.
The test is scheduled to begin shortly after construction ends, after which it will be "turned on".
I am seriously excited for this. Not just for the safe, nearly limitless amounts of electrical energy it will output across the globe, but because it's the basis of further advanced forms of technology, like space propulsion systems, space stations, extraterrestrial colonies, "matter replication"... if we pull this off, it will put us on the track to seriously advancing our technological capabilities as a species.
The full effects will likely be felt towards the end of our lives if this test is successful, but I can't imagine people won't be excited for it.