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

  • Vacuum vessel repair | A portfolio

    Whether standing vertically in the Assembly Hall or lying horizontally in the former Cryostat Workshop now assigned to component repair operations, the non-conf [...]

    Read more

  • European Physical Society | ITER presents its new plans

    The new ITER baseline and its associated research plan were presented last week at the 50th annual conference of the European Physical Society Plasma Physics Di [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | The platform's quasi-final appearance

    Since preparation work began in 2007 on the stretch of land that was to host the 42-hectare ITER platform, regular photographic surveys have been organized to d [...]

    Read more

  • Cryopumps | Preparing for the cold tests

    Before being delivered to ITER, the torus and cryostat cryopumps are submitted to a  comprehensive series of factory acceptance tests. This is not sufficie [...]

    Read more

  • Fusion technologies | Closing a fusion schism

    Historically, inertial confinement and magnetic confinement approaches to fusion have been parallel, separate processes. The ITER Private Sector Fusion Workshop [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Cryopumps

First unit reaches ITER

The ITER vacuum team, the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy, Research Instruments (RI), and the ITER Director-General were all excited to welcome the delivery of the ITER first production cryopump on 30 May.

The torus and cryostat cryopumps are among the most complex components to be designed and manufactured for ITER. Operating at temperatures as low as 4.5 K and as high as 200 °C, they will safely pump and confine the fusion exhaust of helium, tritium and deuterium as well as provide insulating vacuum in the ITER cryostat. (Click to view larger version...)
The torus and cryostat cryopumps are among the most complex components to be designed and manufactured for ITER. Operating at temperatures as low as 4.5 K and as high as 200 °C, they will safely pump and confine the fusion exhaust of helium, tritium and deuterium as well as provide insulating vacuum in the ITER cryostat.
"This delivery is the first of 8 units to roll off the industrial production line with cryopumps now set to arrive at ITER at a rate of one per month," says Robert Pearce, ITER Vacuum System Project Leader. "This delivery achieves an iconic ITER milestone, the culmination of much innovative and challenging work collaboratively performed by the ITER team, including the European Domestic Agency, European industry and associations."

The torus and cryostat cryopumps are among the most complex components to be designed and manufactured for ITER. Operating at temperatures as low as 4.5 K and as high as 200° C, they contain precision mechanics with moving parts that form the world's largest all-metal vacuum valve. The cryopumps will safely pump and confine the fusion exhaust of helium, tritium and deuterium as well as provide insulating vacuum in the ITER cryostat.

ITER completed the build-to-print design of the pumps in 2017, after building the pre-production cryopump. Constant effort and attention to detail were required to successfully manufacture these pumps. Challenges during manufacturing included damage to components due to flash flooding from severe storms in Germany, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need to develop a new adhesion method for the cryopump coconut charcoal after corrosive chlorine was found in the previously used glue.

Director-General Pietro Barabaschi (left) joins ITER Organization and Fusion for Energy team members and representatives of industry in celebrating the arrival of the first of eight cryopumps. (Click to view larger version...)
Director-General Pietro Barabaschi (left) joins ITER Organization and Fusion for Energy team members and representatives of industry in celebrating the arrival of the first of eight cryopumps.
The pumps were initially planned to be installed for a first plasma in 2025, however it will be a few years before the vacuum vessels divertor ports are ready to receive the pumps. In the meantime a cryopump test facility is being built within the ITER cryoplant, allowing each pump to be tested in advance at cold temperatures (4.5 K) and for ITER's pumping scenarios, ultimately saving significant amounts of time during commissioning.

Many people have worked on the cryopumps over the last 20 years or so; even Director-General Pietro Barabaschi recalls doing an analysis back in ITER's Engineering Design Activities days. As such, this delivery is akin to the joyous arrival of a heathy baby—it's just that this baby has many proud parents who have contributed from conception through R&D, design, qualification and manufacturing through to this momentous delivery!

See a related story on the Fusion for Energy website.



return to the latest published articles