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Latest ITER Newsline

  • Tokamak cooling system | Final design achieved

    To remove the heat from the components closest to the plasma, the tokamak cooling water system will rely on over 36 kilometres of nuclear-grade piping and fitti [...]

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  • Worksite progress | Spot the differences

    Let's play the "spot the differences" game between these two general views of the ITER site, one taken last Thursday 18 January, the other three month [...]

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  • Inventions | Where have all the neutrons gone?

    It is not unusual in the course of a work day at the world's largest scientific experiment to rely on creativity to resolve the challenge at hand. But less comm [...]

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  • Neutral beam test facility | Europe delivers first-of-a-kind equipment

    Tullio Bonicelli, in charge of Europe's contributions to the ITER neutral beam heating system, calls them "beyond state-of-the-art components." The hi [...]

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  • Vacuum vessel | First segment completed in Korea

    The technically challenging fabrication of the ITER vacuum vessel is progressing in Korea, where Hyundai Heavy Industries has completed the first poloidal segme [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

First steps towards "energizing"

It takes more than the flipping of a switch to connect the ITER site to the French national grid. The operation, called a "first energizing," is a complex, step-by-step procedure that requires close coordination with the French transmission system operator RTE (Réseau de transport d'électricité).

ITER head of Plant Engineering Sergio Orlandi (centre) and the ITER ''electricians''—head of division Ivone Benfatto and section leader Joël Hourtoule, along with Jeremy Sanna and Marco Olivier—stand at the edge of the switchyard as operations unfold. Also present is head of Communications Laban Coblentz. (Click to view larger version...)
ITER head of Plant Engineering Sergio Orlandi (centre) and the ITER ''electricians''—head of division Ivone Benfatto and section leader Joël Hourtoule, along with Jeremy Sanna and Marco Olivier—stand at the edge of the switchyard as operations unfold. Also present is head of Communications Laban Coblentz.
For the moment, the electrical needs of the ITER worksite and buildings are covered by a 15 kV line extended from the neighbouring CEA research centre. But as activity increases the installation will feed directly from the grid through the switchyard that sprawls over four hectares at the southeast end of the platform.

Preparation for this moment—an ITER Council milestone to be achieved during the first quarter of 2017—began on Friday 20 January at the first of the seven switchyard's "bays." Busbars, switches, pantographs, breakers ... all of the complex equipment and systems that link the grid to the ITER transformers were activated and tested in close coordination with RTE control room in Marseille.

Tests will continue for the other bays individually and will conclude with the energization of the entire switchyard. The steady state electrical network (SSEN), which occupies four bays out of seven, is set to be operational in June, whereas the pulsed power electrical network (PPEN), which is only needed for Tokamak operation, will be energized at a later date.

Performed under "real" conditions, Friday's operations provided a precious opportunity to test and demonstrate the integration of the ITER installation (with all its specificities) into the environment of France's national grid. Beyond the technical dimension, they represented a full-fledged exercise in coordination, methodology, and safety procedures that will be applicable to other plant systems.


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