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Latest ITER Newsline

  • Question of the week | Will fusion run out of fuel?

    One of the paradoxes of fusion, the virtually inexhaustible energy of the future, is that it relies on an element that does not exist—or just barely. Tritium, o [...]

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  • Managing data | Setting up a robust process

    Are the ITER systems and processes robust enough to manage the technical and project data for a program of ITER's complexity? Will quality information be made a [...]

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  • Image of the week | Bullseye

    Two perfectly circular structures, looking a lot like archery targets, have been installed on the west-facing wall of the Tokamak Complex. They are not for sh [...]

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  • Art and science | Seeking new perspectives on fusion

    Standing in the middle of the Tokamak Building, sound artist Julian Weaver positions his 3D microphone near one of the openings of the bioshield to record the s [...]

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  • Worksite photos | The view one never tires of

    For the past three-and a half years, ITER Communication has been documenting construction progress from the top of the tallest crane on the ITER worksite. Altho [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

ITER vacuum system moves forward

ITER Vacuum team

Two major design reviews for the ITER vacuum system took place in December. The successful outcome of both means that the leak detection and leak localization systems and the cryopump cryogenic supply system can move forward to Procurement Arrangement signatures with Europe. (Click to view larger version...)
Two major design reviews for the ITER vacuum system took place in December. The successful outcome of both means that the leak detection and leak localization systems and the cryopump cryogenic supply system can move forward to Procurement Arrangement signatures with Europe.
There was no slowing down for the Vacuum team at the end of last year as two major design reviews for the ITER vacuum system were held over an intense four days.

The first was for the vacuum vessel and auxiliaries leak detection and leak localization system. Liam Worth, responsible for the leak detection and localization system for ITER explains: "Modern tokamaks can be brought down by a mere pinhole in their vacuum system or piping networks. Whether microscopic or visible, holes, cracks and faults cause leaks, which in turn allow air, water or helium to diffuse into areas that are forbidden to them. At best, a leak can seriously degrade the machine's performance; at worst, it can stop operations." The review came after an intense R&D program. "Passing the review," says Liam, "successfully puts ITER's main vacuums in a strong position to support reliable operations."

The second review was for the cryopump cryogenic supply system, which effectively controls the heating and cooling of ITER's 18 cryo-pumps. The largest cryo-pumping systems in the world require the largest cryo-pump cryogen distribution system. At the core of the system are the 12 cold valve boxes that distribute cryogen and gas supplies to each pump. 

Liam Worth, Chair Mike Wykes, Wolfgang Obert and Robert Pearce award Stamos Papastergiou (centre) with a block of the ITER vacuum vessel and an ITER-coloured plastic duck in appreciation for his long-term support in the efforts to minimize the effects of water leaks on tokamaks. (Click to view larger version...)
Liam Worth, Chair Mike Wykes, Wolfgang Obert and Robert Pearce award Stamos Papastergiou (centre) with a block of the ITER vacuum vessel and an ITER-coloured plastic duck in appreciation for his long-term support in the efforts to minimize the effects of water leaks on tokamaks.
Review chair Wolfgang Obert, the Cryogenic Group Leader at JET and the person responsible for the cutting-edge design and operation of JET cryogenics system, commented: "The meeting was well prepared by the ITER Organization and a considerable amount of work had gone into the design. The system can now go forward to Procurement Arrangement, final design and manufacturing milestones."

"The two reviews involved around 100 presentations, even more drawings and documents, and many man years of design preparations," concluded Robert Pearce, ITER Vacuum Section leader. "The panels of experts at each review helped the vacuum team to make absolutely sure that everything is going in the right direction. The positive outcome of both of these reviews is a credit to the ITER Organization and the European Domestic Agency vacuum teams and another large and successful step towards ITER construction."



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