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Of Interest

See archived articles

Europe's first magnet

Heading for the cold

The D-shaped inner core of a toroidal field coil, manufactured by the European consortium ASG, has left the fabrication facility in La Spezia, Italy. Carefully ensconced in a wooden transport frame, the 110-tonne component is on its way to be cold tested and finally inserted into a massive steel case. These will be the final steps before delivery to ITER.

The first European winding pack leaves the ASG factory in La Spezia, Italy on 20 November. Nine other winding packs will be produced in this facility for the ITER machine. (Click to view larger version...)
The first European winding pack leaves the ASG factory in La Spezia, Italy on 20 November. Nine other winding packs will be produced in this facility for the ITER machine.
The European Domestic Agency is responsible for the procurement of 10 of the 18 toroidal field coils required by the ITER machine.

In a campaign that kicked off ten years ago with the signature of the Procurement Arrangement for the supply of 20 percent of toroidal field conductors, European contractors have progressively wound 97 tonnes of niobium-tin superconducting strand; cabled and jacketed approximately 20 km of toroidal field conductor; manufactured 70 radial plates; and progressively built the building blocks for the toroidal field coils—double pancake windings. Seven double pancakes are stacked to form each complete toroidal field winding pack.

At least 26 companies, and hundreds of people, have been involved along the way.

"The departure of Europe's first magnet from the ASG factory is a milestone of symbolic importance," says Alessandro Bonito Oliva, Head of Magnets for the European Domestic Agency. "This factory has been its 'home' during the last five years. Various companies and their workforces have been daily working to reach this objective and I am proud to say that we are entering into the final manufacturing stage. Congratulations to all!"

The D-shaped inner core is carefully packed into a wooden transport frame. Weighing 110 tonnes as it leaves the factory, it will weigh over 300 tonnes once inserted into its steel outer case at SIMIC. (Click to view larger version...)
The D-shaped inner core is carefully packed into a wooden transport frame. Weighing 110 tonnes as it leaves the factory, it will weigh over 300 tonnes once inserted into its steel outer case at SIMIC.
Approximately 5.5 kilometres of superconductor supplied by the ICAS consortium (Italian firms ENEA, Tratos Cavi and Criotec) went into the fabrication of the first completed winding pack. The seven grooved steel plates (radial plates) that separate conductor layers were supplied by CNIM (France) and SIMIC (Italy). Winding took place at a dedicated ASG Superconductor facility in La Spezia, Italy, where the ASG consortium (ASG plus Iberdrola Ingeneria and Elytt Energy) is responsible for producing ten winding packs.

The completed component left the ASG facility by truck on 20 November to be delivered to the nearest port. From there it will travel to the port of Marghera, near Venice, to be delivered to SIMIC S.p.A. Teams there will test the component at cryogenic temperatures (-193 °C, or 80 K) before inserting it into a stainless steel coil case provided by the Japanese Domestic Agency.

See the full report on the European Domestic Agency website.


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