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Domestic Agency: ITER Korea in Daejeon , Korea

Vacuum vessel fabrication

The ITER vacuum vessel, a donut-shaped stainless steel chamber heavier than the Eiffel Tower and more than 10 times larger than the next largest tokamak, is being built in nine pieces, like sections of an orange. Europe is building five sections, and Korea four.

Korea has completed the first segment of vacuum vessel sector #6 on schedule and is proceding with non-destructive examination. Sector #1 is nearly half complete, and sector #8 is well underway.

  • For more details on vacuum vessel fabrication, see here.
  • For general information on the ITER vacuum vessel see this webpage.
  • See photos here.
Giant assembly tools to pre-assemble the vacuum vessel

The tools ITER will use to assemble the vacuum vessel sectors are truly colossal: six stories high with "wings" that spread 20 meters. Each tool weighs 800 tons. Each is strong enough to hold a 440-ton vacuum vessel sector and two 310-ton toroidal field magnets in its arms, bringing them together to make a unit.

Two of these "sector sub-assembly tools"(SSATs) will work side-by-side in the 60-meter-high ITER Assembly Hall. They will pre-assemble the nine sectors of the vacuum vessel

with other components before their transfer to the Tokamak Pit, where they will be welded together to form the ITER vacuum chamber.

Korea delivered the first SSAT to ITER in batches over the summer. It is currently being erected in the Assembly Hall. A second, identical, tool is under fabrication in Korea.

Thermal shield

Since ITER's superconducting magnets must be cooled to minus 269°C, they must be heavily protected from any heat source. The toroidal field magnets, which surround the vacuum chamber, require a special high-tech thermal shield: stainless steel electroplated in silver.

At SFA Engineering Corporation in Changwon, Korea, the fabrication of the ITER thermal shield is now underway.