Enable Recite

Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

Your email address will only be used for the purpose of sending you the ITER Organization publication(s) that you have requested. ITER Organization will not transfer your email address or other personal data to any other party or use it for commercial purposes.

If you change your mind, you can easily unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe option at the bottom of an email you've received from ITER Organization.

For more information, see our Privacy policy.

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Inside the pit | From dizzying volume to cramped environment

    There was a time when the assembly pit felt like a huge arena, with toy-like tools scattered on the floor and workers reduced to Playmobil-size figures. Progres [...]

    Read more

  • Fusion world | UKAEA's CHIMERA set to transform fusion component testing

    Construction of a unique testing machine for fusion components is underway at the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).  The machine, known as CHIMERA (or Co [...]

    Read more

  • Award | A 30-year friendship with China

    Some thirty years ago, HT-7, China's first superconducting tokamak, was entering operation and experiencing some issues with its ion cyclotron resonance (ICRH) [...]

    Read more

  • Tokamak assembly | Building the feeders, segment by segment

    Through an opening in the Tritium Building just large enough to admit the 11-metre-long components, two magnet feeder segments were introduced this month into t [...]

    Read more

  • Fusion world | Highest French distinction for former ITER Director-General

    Established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte, then the First Consul of the young French Republic, the French Legion of Honour (Légion d'honneur) is the highest of [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Heat rejection basins

A massive fill-up

When the ITER Tokamak begins producing burning plasmas and auxiliary systems are operating at full capacity, the amount of heat to be removed from the installation will be in the range of 1100 MW. The extraction and dissipation of such a huge amount of energy requires an oversize heat rejection system that comprises kilometres of piping, dozens of extremely powerful pumps, countless valves and filtres, massive cooling towers, and two water basins (one "hot" and one "cold") equivalent in size to six or seven Olympic pools.
 
The fill-up operation, which began on Wednesday 14 October is being closely monitored from the temporary control room. (Click to view larger version...)
The fill-up operation, which began on Wednesday 14 October is being closely monitored from the temporary control room.
One of the basic requirements for any water basin is to be as leak-tight as possible. Although some loss of water through seepage is inevitable in concrete basins such as ITER's, an "assessment of tightness" was decided prior to turning over the heat rejection system to the ITER commissioning team.
 
On 14 October, the weeklong operation began. The gate that connects the basins to the nearby Canal de Provence was opened and water rushed in at the rate of 300 cubic metres per hour. Like a crane that needs to be tested at 110 or 120 percent of its nominal lifting capacity, the basins of the heat rejection system were "overfilled" with 27,000 cubic metres of water, or 7,000 m³ more than their operational volume.
 
The basin walls and floor are thick and sturdy, but the pressure that is exerted by 27,000 tonnes of water is enormous.
 
Topographic targets installed at several locations on the basin structures are monitoring "settling," which is expected to be in the range of 0.5 centimetres.
 
A team operation, assessing the leak tightness of the heat rejection system basins involved the ITER Control Division, in charge of instrumentation and control; the Operations Division; the Mechanical Implementation Division; the Field Engineering Installation Division, and Site Coordination. (Click to view larger version...)
A team operation, assessing the leak tightness of the heat rejection system basins involved the ITER Control Division, in charge of instrumentation and control; the Operations Division; the Mechanical Implementation Division; the Field Engineering Installation Division, and Site Coordination.
Once the basins are filled and stabilized, the water level will be closely observed by a set of radars and the measurements compared to "witness tanks" to account for evaporation. If radars register a drop beyond the acceptable leak rate (on the order of a few cubic metres per day due to the porosity of the concrete, the occasional micro-fissures, and seepage through junctions), that would signal a problem.
 
Five days into the test, all parameters are nominal. Water levels in the basins are rising at the rate of one metre per day; fill-up should be complete by the end of this week.
 


return to the latest published articles