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Europe signs contracts for blanket first wall prototypes

To mitigate risk on these technically challenging components and preserve competition up to series production, three different companies will manufacture a full-size prototype of a blanket first wall panel. © ITER Organization (Click to view larger version...)
To mitigate risk on these technically challenging components and preserve competition up to series production, three different companies will manufacture a full-size prototype of a blanket first wall panel. © ITER Organization
The European Domestic Agency has awarded contracts for the fabrication of three full-size prototypes of the blanket first wall, an important next step in the qualification of the first wall panels that follows in the steps of the successful manufacturing of a 1:6-scale semi-prototype earlier this year.

Contracts were signed with Atmostat (ALCEN group, France), AREVA (France), and a consortium made up of AMEC (UK), Iberdrola (Spain) and MIB (Spain). Each of these companies is to manufacture a full-size prototype of a blanket first wall panel, as well as carry out specific industrialization studies for series production and present a cost and schedule assessment.

The choice of three companies was made by the European Domestic Agency to mitigate risk on these technically challenging components and preserve competition up to series production.

Europe is responsible for procuring 215 normal heat flux first wall panels, while China and Russia are sharing the procurement of 225 enhanced heat flux panels. (A total of 440 first wall panels are needed for the ITER blanket.) These extremely high-tech components are made of 6- to 10-millimetre-thick beryllium tiles that are bonded with a copper alloy and 316L (N) stainless steel.

More on the manufacturing process for first wall panels can be found in the original article on the European Domestic Agency website.

Delivery of the full-scale prototypes is expected in early 2017.


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