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Vacuum vessel sector fabrication begins in Korea

Young-Ju Lee, NFRI Vacuum Vessel Technology Team

The first cutting operation for vacuum vessel sector #6 (photo courtesy of Busan Waterjet). (Click to view larger version...)
The first cutting operation for vacuum vessel sector #6 (photo courtesy of Busan Waterjet).
An important milestone was achieved in February for the Korean Domestic Agency. Following the selection of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in January 2010 as manufacturer for the Korean section of the ITER vacuum vessel and ports, and the completion of manufacturing design late 2011, cutting has begun on the ITER-grade stainless steel plate for the vacuum vessel.
 
On 13 February, in the presence of quality assurance experts and engineers from the Korean Domestic Agency, the first cutting operation for vacuum vessel sector #6 was performed by HHI subcontractor Busan Waterjet.

The Director-General of the Korean Domestic Agency, Kijung Jung, stated: "I feel very great satisfaction that the Korean Domestic Agency has initiated the fabrication of this vacuum vessel sector, which is a key procurement item for the ITER project. We will do our best so that all Korean procurement items are consistently within schedule."

The accomplishment of this milestone is the result of extensive pre-fabrication works including practical experience on three full-scale mockups. Issues related to regulator and safety requirements remain to be resolved before vacuum vessel fabrication activity can accelerate.

Following agreement from the ITER Organization, HHI is working with an expert from the Agreed Notified Body (ANB)—a private company authorized by the French Nuclear Regulator to assess conformity of components in the category of Nuclear Pressure Equipment. The expert will work with HHI for five months.


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