Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Monaco-ITER Fellows | New campaign announced

    The seventh recruitment campaign for the Monaco-ITER postdoctoral fellowship program opens on 13 January. Since 2008, thirty postdocs have carried out origin [...]

    Read more

  • Electrical network | The waking of the beast

    The beast had sat immobile for more than three years—no blood running in its veins, no electrical impulse shaking its nerves alive. With three long horns sticki [...]

    Read more

  • ITER staff | Nearing the 1,000 mark

    Given the breadth of assignments, schedules, and responsibilities it is impossible to capture a complete snapshot of ITER Organization staff at any given point [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | How cable became a coil

    We saw it being born, in the form of spooled lengths of jacketed conductor; we saw it being wrapped in white fiberglass tape and slowly transformed into a " [...]

    Read more

  • 25th ITER Council: All efforts converging toward the start of machine assembly

    The governing board of the ITER Organization, the ITER Council, concluded its Twenty-Fifth Meeting on Thursday 21 November. This was the last ITER Council meeti [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

A three-day immersion in vacuum

R.A.

The three-day training session made it clear why vacuum, in Robert Pearce's own words, ''is absolutely key to ITER success.'' (Click to view larger version...)
The three-day training session made it clear why vacuum, in Robert Pearce's own words, ''is absolutely key to ITER success.''
In the ITER Tokamak, the challenges of vacuum can be found everywhere: in the 1,400 m³ vacuum vessel where fusion reactions will be produced; in the 8,500 m³ cryostat that will act as a giant thermos to keep the intense cold inside the superconducting coils; and in penetration flanges, filters, valves, gauges, diagnostic equipment, materials...

Vacuum is so important to a fusion device that it takes more than just technical competence to apprehend it—one needs a broad "vacuum culture" and an understanding of what vacuum is about.

The first three-day "Vacuum for Fusion" training session that was organized at ITER on 9-11 June aimed precisely at that. "We developed this course to provide an overview of the complete science and engineering of vacuum technology," explains Robert Pearce, head of the ITER Vacuum Section. "Through lectures, presentations and practical sessions in the vacuum lab, we went from the fundamentals to the nitty-gritty of the engineering techniques."

Twenty-four participants from the European and US Domestic Agencies and from different departments of the ITER Organization learned how, when it comes to the ITER Tokamak, vacuum touches "almost everything—from plasma to magnets." Over the course of three days, they explored vacuum fundamentals and material properties, and experimented with leak detection, metal sealing, and gas analysis.

Twenty-four participants from the European and US Domestic Agencies and from different departments of the ITER Organization learned how, when it comes to the ITER Tokamak, vacuum touches almost everything... (Click to view larger version...)
Twenty-four participants from the European and US Domestic Agencies and from different departments of the ITER Organization learned how, when it comes to the ITER Tokamak, vacuum touches almost everything...
"The lecturers have a lot of experience," explains Francina Canadell, a young engineer with the Vacuum Pumping Group at the European Domestic Agency. "They have helped us to put the concepts into context. Take outgassing¹ for instance — we deal with outgassing on a daily basis with the suppliers that are manufacturing components for ITER. But what is the essence of outgassing? What are the physics underlying the process? This is the kind of thing that we learned during the session."

For the young engineers at an early stage of their career in vacuum, or for the more seasoned experts working on the design, procurement and assembly of vacuum components, all enjoyed the overall approach of the session designed by Robert Pearce and his team. And—most important of all—the training session made it clear why vacuum, in Pearce's own words, "is absolutely key to ITER success."

Given the level of interest in the first training session the program will be offered again in the future, open to all ITER Domestic Agencies.

¹ Outgassing is the process by which materials release the gas particles that are trapped on their surface or within their structure.


return to the latest published articles