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

Central solenoid feels the heat

The first of six independent magnets for ITER's central solenoid has successfully passed the heat treatment phase, which ultimately creates the solenoid's superconducting material. This milestone was reached in April at General Atomics (US), after the 110-tonne module spent just over ten days at 570 °C and another four at 650 °C.

The heat treatment furnace at General Atomics can accept one central solenoid module at a time. During a month-long process, heat treatment reacts niobium and tin to form the superconducting alloy Nb3Sn. (Click to view larger version...)
The heat treatment furnace at General Atomics can accept one central solenoid module at a time. During a month-long process, heat treatment reacts niobium and tin to form the superconducting alloy Nb3Sn.
Heat treatment is the fabrication step during which the niobium and tin are reacted together to form the superconducting Nb3Sn alloy. The furnace—which is 12 metres tall when opened, with a diameter of 5.5 metres—holds one module at a time.

Temperatures are increased very progressively, maintained, then decreased progressively in a process that maintains the uniform "cooking" of the module.

"The heat treatment is what ultimately creates the solenoid's superconducting material, and completion of this process demonstrates that we are continuing to make good, consistent progress on this project," said John Smith, program manager for General Atomics.

The central solenoid magnet is formed from six individual coil modules stacked vertically within a "cage" of supporting structures.

At a facility in Poway, California, the US contractor General Atomics is currently overseeing fabrication activity at several points along its manufacturing line. While the first production module passes from the heat treatment station to the turn insulation station, teams are already joining the conductor sections of the second module. Finally the qualification coil—used to validate all processes and tooling in advance of series production—has entered the final test station.

See the full press release from General Atomics.


return to the latest published articles