Moving on to what this is all about
In the last couple of weeks, important progress was made to move the ITER design forward as we completed the final design review for the central solenoid conductor and the conceptual design reviews for the central solenoid coil and the in-vessel coils. The central solenoid reviews will allow us to move forward with procurement, while the in-vessel coil design review was important to assessing the requirements and to showing that the current concept is feasible and fits in the space that has been allocated.
The design of the in-vessel coils is closely coupled to vacuum vessel procurement, and vessel interfaces must be clearly defined to allow this critical procurement to move ahead. The US Domestic Agency, specifically a team at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, is leading this design activity in close cooperation with the ITER Organization. This is a very challenging activity because of the severe working environment of the coils and the very close interfaces the coils have with the vacuum vessel, the port structures, the blanket and the blanket manifolds. Important initial comments at the meeting indicated that we can move forward to the preliminary design phase, with the provision that the system requirements document is updated as soon as possible. More detailed comments will be provided with the final report in the coming weeks.
The final design review for the central solenoid conductor was completed on 17 September. Comments and recommendations from this review are being resolved with the expectation that the Procurement Arrangement with Japan can be signed in late October. This large Procurement Arrangement is worth about EUR 139 million; it will be the ninth conductor Procurement Arrangement signed between the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies. Conductors are an area where there is much activity going on at the Domestic Agencies, including the manufacture of ITER strand. Some of these activities are discussed in related articles in this issue.
Then, only a few hours ago we concluded the conceptual design review for the central solenoid magnet. This was a critical step in the process that will lead to a Procurement Arrangement with the US in the coming months. Much effort went to developing and finalizing the requirements for the central solenoid magnet, in addition to reviewing the baseline design and design alternatives.
Many more reviews of critical systems are planned in the coming months and this is a very good indication of design progress. This ultimately leads to Procurement Arrangements and the construction of ITER components, which is what the project is all about!
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