Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:


Please enter your email address:

@

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Open Doors Day | An intense and unforgettable experience

    Saturday was Jacques's birthday. At age 90, the long-retired engineer from Aix-en-Provence had only one item on his wish list: to visit ITER for a third time an [...]

    Read more

  • Power conversion | A potent illustration of the "One ITER" spirit

    Europe made the buildings; the piping came from India; China and Korea provided the transformers; Russia manufactured the massive 'busbar' network. The ITER Org [...]

    Read more

  • Fusion world | Upgrade completed on DIII-D tokamak

    The DIII-D National Fusion Program (US) has completed a series of important enhancements to its fusion facility, providing researchers with several first-of-a-k [...]

    Read more

  • Vacuum lab | Ensuring leak test sensitivity

    A helium leak test is one of several factory acceptance tests planned for the sectors of the ITER vacuum vessel before they are shipped to ITER. In a vacuum lab [...]

    Read more

  • Bookmark | The Future of Fusion Energy

    To write about fusion is to walk a fine line between the temptation of lyricism and the arid demands of scientific accuracy. Whereas the general media tends to [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Conductors: live meetings to find common ground

Robert Arnoux

The main actors in conductor production have got into the habit, since 2008, of meeting twice a year here in Cadarache. (Click to view larger version...)
The main actors in conductor production have got into the habit, since 2008, of meeting twice a year here in Cadarache.
More than one hundred tonnes of niobium-tin (Nb3Sn) superconducting wire, all destined for the ITER toroidal field coils, have now been produced by the six ITER Domestic Agencies (China, EU, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the US) responsible for toroidal field conductor procurement.

These 100 tonnes, about half of which come from Japan, amount to 25 percent of the total wire length (80,000 km!) that is required for ITER's 18 toroidal field coils, each as heavy as a fully loaded Boeing 747.

Niobium-titanium (NbTi ) superconducting wire production for ITER's poloidal field coils will begin next month, and by 2012 the first jacketed cables should arrive on-site for magnet winding.

This operation will be performed in the dedicated 250-metre-long building whose construction began early in August on the ITER platform.

Coordinating the conductor fabrication, implementing quality control, and dealing with the many issues that inevitably arise in such a complex and delicate process require a lot of interaction between the ITER Organization, the six Domestic Agencies and their industrial suppliers.

In order to closely monitor this process worldwide, video conferences and visits are organized on a regular basis and dozens of emails and phone calls are exchanged everyday.

A discussion on temperature variation tolerance during ramps— Alexander Vostner (ITER) does the presentation while Sheng Liu (Chinese Domestique Agency) takes notes. (Click to view larger version...)
A discussion on temperature variation tolerance during ramps— Alexander Vostner (ITER) does the presentation while Sheng Liu (Chinese Domestique Agency) takes notes.
But because nothing can replace personal contact and face-to-face negotiation, the main actors in conductor production—ITER Organization Magnet Division personnel, Domestic Agency Technical Responsible Officers, and representatives from industry—have got into the habit, since 2008, of meeting twice a year here in Cadarache.

"Gathering everyone involved in the same room for three days, having lunch together, looking for common ground and eventually finding it, creates a strong motivation," says Superconducting Systems Section Leader Arnaud Devred. "A video conference would never achieve the same results."

These "Conductor sub-IPT" meetings (IPT for "Integrated Project Team"), according to Arnaud, play an essential part in the "ability to produce" and in the success of the whole operation.

Such a meeting was held this past week in the Cadarache Château's Salle des Armures and gathered some 30 representatives from all the Members involved in toroidal field, poloidal field, and central solenoid conductor production. "We discuss dimensions, tolerances, tests and examination; we review, we deal with what we call 'deviation requests' ... we come out with guidelines for standardized procedures," says Arnaud. "We try to understand each other's point of view and we accommodate."


return to the latest published articles