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  • Remembering Bernard Bigot, ITER Director-General 2015-2022

    On the ITER site, the machinery of construction was humming just like on any weekday. Workers were concentrating on their tasks, laying rebar for new buildings [...]

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  • Tokamak assembly | Preparing for the Big Lift

    The distance was short but the challenge daunting: on Thursday last week, the first section of the plasma chamber was lifted 50 centimetres above its suppor [...]

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  • Image of the week | 13th toroidal field coil arrives from Europe

    The toroidal field coil procurement effort has been one of the longest of the ITER program, initiated by Procurement Arrangements signed in 2007 and 2008. Manuf [...]

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  • Diagnostics | Final Procurement Arrangement signed

    ITER Diagnostics reached an important milestone in December 2021 when it concluded the last Procurement Arrangement of the diagnostics program. After signing a [...]

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  • On site | A quick visit to the Control Building

    Work is progressing on the ITER Control Building, ergonomically designed for the 60 to 80 operators, engineers and researchers who will call it home.  [...]

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Of Interest

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Image of the week

The shine of silver

All ITER components are precious. But some look more precious than others.

The vacuum vessel thermal shield comprises nine 40° sectors. Sector #6 is pictured here, ready to be packed and shipped to ITER. (Click to view larger version...)
The vacuum vessel thermal shield comprises nine 40° sectors. Sector #6 is pictured here, ready to be packed and shipped to ITER.
A vacuum vessel sector, a toroidal field coil, a cryopump, or a divertor cassette are priceless pieces of high technology. But they could hardly pass for jewelry.

The thermal shield could. Because its mission is to protect the tokamak's superconducting coils from thermal radiation, it is coated with the most efficient of "low-emissivity" materials. And this material happens to be ... silver.

Given the size of the thermal shield (approximately 2,000 square metres), a 5- to 10-micrometre-thick silver plating on both sides requires no less than 5 tonnes¹ of the precious metal—enough to make 625,000 sterling silver rings.

A first finalized sector of the vacuum vessel thermal shield (sector #6) has left the SFA Engineering Corp in Changwon, Korea, to be delivered to ITER.

¹Five tonnes of silver will be required in the electroplating baths. The mass of silver coating the thermal shield panels is estimated at just under 800 kg total.



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