The 18th International Atomic Energy Agency Fusion Energy Conference was held in Sorrento, Italy, 4-10 October 2000. This series of meetings, which began in 1961, has been held biennially since 1974. In addition to these biennial conferences, the IAEA organizes co-ordinated research projects (CRPs), technical committee meetings (TCMs), advisory group meetings (AGMs) and consultants meetings (CMs) on fusion research topics. The objectives of the IAEA activities related to fusion research are to:
This 5 1/2-day Fusion Energy Conference, which was attended by 573 participants from over thirty countries and three international organizations, was organized by the IAEA in co-operation with the Italian National Agency for New Technology, Energy and the Environment (ENEA), to which the IAEA wishes to express its gratitude. A total of 397 papers, including the post-deadline papers, were accepted for presentation at the conference by the Programme Committee, which met in May 2000 and on the second day of the conference. Overall, 389 papers, including the 4 summary talks, were presented in 22 oral and 8 poster sessions on magnetic confinement experiments, inertial fusion energy, plasma heating and current drive, ITER engineering design activities, magnetic confinement theory, innovative concepts, fusion technology, and safety and environmental aspects. The Opening Session was designated the Artsimovich-Kadomtsev Memorial Session, in honour of Academicians L.A. Artsimovich and B.B. Kadomtsev. Three invited lectures were given in the Opening Session by Nobel Prize Winner C. Rubbia, President, ENEA, Rome, Italy; A. Arima, Member of the House of Councilors, Tokyo, Japan; and E. Velikhov, President, Russian Research Centre ``Kurchatov Institute'', Moscow, Russia.