Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • FEC2020 | Seeking sponsors for 28th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference

    For only the third time since 1961, the International Atomic Energy Agency's Fusion Energy Conference will be taking place in France—hosted jointly by the Frenc [...]

    Read more

  • Nuclear safety | Under constant scrutiny

    Because one of the elements involved in the fusion reaction is the radioactive isotope tritium, and because the hydrogen fusion reaction itself generates a high [...]

    Read more

  • Power conversion | Alien structures and strange contraptions

    There are places in ITER that seem to belong to another world, places full of alien structures and strange contraptions. The feeling—a mixture of awe and puzzle [...]

    Read more

  • Tokamak Complex | A changing landscape

    For the past three years, the view from the top of the highest worksite crane has not changed much. Inside of the Tokamak Complex, 80 metres below, concrete gal [...]

    Read more

  • Ion cyclotron heating | How to pump 20 MW of power into 1 gram of plasma

    To power the ion cyclotron system, the ITER Organization and its partners are designing not only new antennas, which will be housed in the tokamak vessel, but a [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

The end of a nine-year journey

K.D.

In December, as toroidal field conductor unit length #133 came off the production line, the ITER community celebrated a major milestone—the end of a nine-year procurement campaign to procure 88 km of niobium-tin (Nb3Sn) superconductor for ITER's toroidal field coils.

Six ITER Members have contributed to the production of 88 km of toroidal field conductors: China (7.5 percent), Europe (20.18 percent), Japan (25 percent), Korea (20.18 percent), Russia (19.3 percent) and the United States (8 percent). The last conductor unit length was produced by the ICAS consortium in Italy (pictured) in December 2016. (Click to view larger version...)
Six ITER Members have contributed to the production of 88 km of toroidal field conductors: China (7.5 percent), Europe (20.18 percent), Japan (25 percent), Korea (20.18 percent), Russia (19.3 percent) and the United States (8 percent). The last conductor unit length was produced by the ICAS consortium in Italy (pictured) in December 2016.
Six ITER Members have participated in ITER's longest running procurement effort: China, Europe, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States.

Considered a difficult material to work with due to the sensitivity of the Nb3Sn superconducting strands to strain, the world production capacity in 2007 at the start of the campaign did not exceed 15 tonnes per year. To meet ITER's needs, this had to be ramped up by one order of magnitude.

In close association with the ITER Organization, the ITER Members developed winding and jacketing facilities, launched qualification programs for processes and tooling, and followed demanding process control and certification standards to ensure conformity with ITER's technical specifications. Some 500 tonnes of copper and niobium-tin (Nb3Sn) multifilament composite wires were produced for the toroidal field coils, then "bundled" to form cables and contained in a structural steel jacket. Eight strand suppliers and four jacketing facilities were qualified by the ITER Organization in the course of the global procurement effort.

The last toroidal field conductor unit length was jacketed in December 2016 by the European ICAS consortium in Italy from superconducting cable manufactured in the US and steel tubes sourced in Japan by the US Domestic Agency.

"This milestone represents the end of an amazing and challenging nine-year journey, which has been completed on time due to the good understanding and collaborative spirit between the partners," said an enthusiastic Arnaud Devred, head of the Superconductor Systems & Auxiliaries Section at ITER. "This procurement sums up much that is ITER—advanced technology, innovation, perseverance and strong international collaboration. For me, it's an excellent illustration of how ITER is bringing people together."

The many technical issues encountered along the way were overcome by facing them head-on and working out pragmatic solutions together, added Arnaud. "This spirit is expected to continue in the next phases of the toroidal field magnet procurement, as our European and Japanese partners produce the final coils."

Eighty-eight kilometres of cable-in-conduit conductors for the toroidal field coils represents approximately 825 tonnes of material and an estimated market value of EUR 350 million.


return to the latest published articles