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Of Interest

See archived articles

Fifth transformer installed at PRIMA test facility

-Maria Teresa Orlando, PRIMA neutral beam test facility

The 250-tonne step-up transformer delivered in June was the last of a set of five to be delivered by the Japanese Domestic Agency for the power supply system of the MITICA testbed, which is a full-scale prototype of the ITER neutral beam injectors. (Click to view larger version...)
The 250-tonne step-up transformer delivered in June was the last of a set of five to be delivered by the Japanese Domestic Agency for the power supply system of the MITICA testbed, which is a full-scale prototype of the ITER neutral beam injectors.
The truck arrives in the first light of dawn on 23 June 2016. The huge step-up transformer on its bed stands out against the white of the main building of the PRIMA neutral beam test facility. Unloading begins a few hours later. The maneuvering is difficult and calls for precision; the Japanese and Italian teams check each step carefully. Tension relaxes only when the "big one" is safely set in its pit.

The 250-tonne step-up transformer is the last of a set of five to be delivered by the Japanese Domestic Agency for the power supply system of the MITICA testbed. (MITICA is a full-scale prototype of the ITER neutral beam injectors). The transformers were procured by the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (QST)* and manufactured by Hitachi Ltd for the 1MV voltage generator that feeds the MITICA accelerator.

"Since December 2015, the 1MV power supplies and transmission line components shipped by Japan have reached the PRIMA site from ports in Venice and Genoa. Their installation, entrusted to the Consorzio RFX laboratory that hosts the facility, is underway as scheduled," says laboratory director Roberto Piovan.

The realization of the PRIMA test facility is progressing steadily. Besides the activity for MITICA powers supplies, activities for the 1:1-scale ion source prototype, SPIDER, are also advancing quickly. "The 100 kV power supply components contributed by India arrived in April and their installation can start in parallel to the commissioning of the vacuum system and ion source power supply. The transmission line has also just been successfully tested and accepted," explains Vanni Toigo, neutral beam test facility project manager.

At the PRIMA facility in Padua, Italy, components have been arriving for the test beds SPIDER and MITICA, which will test important aspects of ITER's neutral beam heating system in advance of ITER operation. (Click to view larger version...)
At the PRIMA facility in Padua, Italy, components have been arriving for the test beds SPIDER and MITICA, which will test important aspects of ITER's neutral beam heating system in advance of ITER operation.
PRIMA is an important risk-mitigation program for the ITER neutral beam heating system to which Europe, Japan and India are all contributing components according to Procurement Arrangements signed with the ITER Organization. Italy has offered the site, realized the complex of buildings and technical infrastructure, and set up a design and realization team as a voluntary contribution to the neutral beam development program.

"With the acceptance of the transmission line for SPIDER, the first procurement contract for PRIMA components has been completed," concludes Tullio Bonicelli, team manager from the European Domestic Agency. "This represents a concrete administrative and technical milestone that demonstrates that the realization of the facility is progressing steadily."

* QST was established on 1 April 2016 to merge the National Institute of Radiological Sciences, the Quantum Beam Directorate and the Nuclear Fusion Directorate of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).


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