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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • The magnet lab next door

    Two and a half years ago ITER and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) entered a collaborationto prepare for the challenging task [...]

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  • Activity on every floor

    At every floor of the Tokamak Complex—from the lowest underground level (B2) all the way to the second regular level of the bioshield (L2)—there is intense acti [...]

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  • Bringing the Research Plan up to date

    The ITER Research Plan is an ITER baseline document which outlines the main lines of science and technology research derived from the project's mission goals. [...]

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  • Further validation for ring magnet fabrication

    Once a component mockup has been produced—and before fabrication can begin on the actual component or system—a manufacturing readiness review is required to ens [...]

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  • First central solenoid module ready for heat treatment

    In a major milestone, the US contractor responsible for the fabrication of the ITER central solenoid has successfully joined seven individual coil sections, or [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

Measuring the fusion power

-Sabina Griffith

The microfission chamber unit is mounted on the vacuum vessel behind a blanket module. The base plate will be welded to the vacuum vessel, cooled by water coolant, and the plate will be cooled by heat conduction. (Click to view larger version...)
The microfission chamber unit is mounted on the vacuum vessel behind a blanket module. The base plate will be welded to the vacuum vessel, cooled by water coolant, and the plate will be cooled by heat conduction.
The measurement of the neutron emission stemming from the fusion reaction is a very important diagnostic because it is directly related to measuring the fusion power. A typical neutron counter is the Fission Chamber. This detector, originally developed as a monitor for fission reactors, has been applied for decades on various large fusion devices like JET in Europe, JT60 in Japan and TFTR in USA.

A Micro Fission Chamber is a ionization chamber, i.e. a small cylinder containing argon gas and a tiny amount of uranium (235U). As a neutron hits the uranium, a fission event will be generated and a pulsed signal triggered which can be translated into the amount of power generated. In ITER, the pencil size monitors will be located inside the Vacuum Vessel behind the blanket modules.

Recently, the Conceptual Design Review for the ITER Micro Fission Chamber, an effort lead by Luciano Bertalot and Anna Encheva, was concluded successfully with no "category 1" chits (no identified showstoppers). "The stringent quality control on ITER design enforced by the Conceptual Design Review panel makes such events rare and highlights the outstanding teamwork within  the ITER project," a relieved Anna Encheva commented the outcome of the two-day review.

Special thanks to Anna Encheva and Luciano Bertalot for their contribution to this article.


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