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  • Construction | Art around every corner

    Most of us have experienced it. Turning a corner in one of the Tokamak Building galleries and looking up at the graphic pattern of embedded plates in the concre [...]

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  • Machine | Ensuring port plugs will work as planned

    The stainless steel plugs sealing off each Tokamak port opening are not only massive, they are also complex—carrying and protecting some of the precious payload [...]

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  • Networks | Ensuring real-time distributed computing at ITER

    Many of the control systems at ITER require quick response and a high degree of determinism. If commands go out late, the state of the machine may have changed [...]

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  • Fusion codes and standards | Award for ITER Japan's Hideo Nakajima

    Hideo Nakajima, a senior engineer at ITER Japan, has received an award from the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (JSME) for his contribution to the develop [...]

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  • Machine assembly | First magnet in place

    When it travelled the ITER Itinerary last year, or during cold tests in the onsite winding facility, poloidal field coil #6 (PF6) felt rather large and massive. [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Managing complexity with good processes

The ITER in-vessel configuration, representing (from left to right) the in-vessel diagnostics, the in-vessel coils, the blanket manifolds and the blankets. (Click to view larger version...)
The ITER in-vessel configuration, representing (from left to right) the in-vessel diagnostics, the in-vessel coils, the blanket manifolds and the blankets.
The inner workings of the ITER Tokamak are highly complex, not only because of the sheer number of components but also due to the elaborate interconnectivity between them. Over 600 components among the blanket, the divertor and the port plugs act as plasma-facing elements, covering a surface area of 875 m2. Hundreds of other components are placed between these elements and the vacuum vessel.

The technical complexity, the variations in schedule, and the number of supplier interfaces at each Domestic Agency add an extra dose of challenge.

A team of seven, led by Tokamak Integration Responsible Officer Alex Martin, has worked intensively to come up with a design approach that allows the components and their interfaces to mature at the same pace.

This integrated approach involves considering all the components inside the machine as a single system. A cross-functional team has been put in place involving a high degree of collaboration between the design teams of the vacuum vessel, in-vessel diagnostics, in-vessel coils, blanket manifolds, blankets, first-wall diagnostics, the divertor, divertor diagnostics and port plugs. In this approach, the designs of all the components are updated periodically. An assessment of how well this configuration works is then performed, informed by feedback from both the teams working in component development and manufacturing and those in system management (i.e., tolerance analysis, nuclear analysis). The necessary design trade-offs are then performed and the designs adjusted.

This iterative process will conclude with the successful delivery and installation of the components forming the in-vessel system.

For their teamwork, collaboration and effort in the construction of a coherent in-vessel configuration integration design, the team composed by Alex Martin, Anne Arnould, Jorge González, Patrick Martin, Gonzalo Martinez, Charles Millot and Flavien Sabourin received a commendation during the ITER Recognition Ceremony held in December 2014.


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