Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:


Please enter your email address:

@

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Challenges | Managing risk in a first-of-a-kind project like ITER

    The classic approach to project management is to group risks into three separate categories. The first consists of known risks, the second of unknown risks, and [...]

    Read more

  • "Friendship Award"| China honours ITER Director-General

    Last week, ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot was one of 100 foreign experts from 31 countries to be awarded China's Government Friendship Award. The Governm [...]

    Read more

  • Disruption mitigation | First tests with JET's shattered pellet injector

    A shattered pellet injector—a device which pre-empts plasma disruptions by releasing a spray of frozen deuterium-neon pellets into a plasma—is now in testing on [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | 12 pillars and counting

    Two rows of pillars have now appeared at the top of the ITER Tokamak Building—12 out of 20 base pillars that will soon be topped by a second level of pillars, a [...]

    Read more

  • Blanket first wall | Qualification program concludes in Europe

    Directly facing the heat and high-energy neutrons produced during fusion is the first wall of the ITER blanket—440 beryllium-coated, detachable panels that will [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

10,000 tonnes of magnets to cool

In ITER, huge volumes of liquid helium will be circulated throughout a complex, five-kilometre network of pipes, pumps and valves to keep the 10,000-tonne magnet system at superconducting temperature. Helium will also be required to provide cooling power to the thermal shields—which reduce the large temperature gradient between the superconducting magnets and the Tokamak environment—and the cryopumps, which use extreme cold to achieve high vacuum in the plasma chamber.

The cryoplant area stretches over 8,000-square-metre zone not far from the Tokamak Building. Part of the area is given over to the storage of helium and nitrogen in liquid and gaseous forms; the rest (5,400 m²) is for the Cold Box and Compressor buildings that will be joined under a single roof. (Click to view larger version...)
The cryoplant area stretches over 8,000-square-metre zone not far from the Tokamak Building. Part of the area is given over to the storage of helium and nitrogen in liquid and gaseous forms; the rest (5,400 m²) is for the Cold Box and Compressor buildings that will be joined under a single roof.
As a consequence, the ITER cryoplant will be the largest in the world. Nearly 25 tonnes of liquid helium at minus 269 °C will circulate in the ITER installation during operation.

Helium however is not the only ultra-cold fluid that the cryoplant will produce. Liquid nitrogen, at a temperature of minus 196 °C, will be used as a "pre-cooler" in the liquid helium plants.

Nitrogen, which accounts for approximately 78 percent of the air we breathe, will be extracted directly from the atmosphere in an on-site gaseous nitrogen generator with a production capacity of 50 tonnes per day, and then processed in two large liquid nitrogen plants.

The complexity of the cooling processes, along with the flux rate required for the cooling of magnets, cryopumps and thermal shield, has dictated the size and design of the cryoplant.

Construction is underway now on the buildings and technical areas of the cryoplant.

The images below show recent progress on site. Access for the first installation activities is expected in June.


return to the latest published articles