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  • Fuelling fusion | The magic cocktail of deuterium and tritium

    Nuclear fusion in stars is easy: it just happens, because the immense gravity of a star easily overcomes the resistance of nuclei to come together and fuse. [...]

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  • 360° image of the week | The cryoplant

    Cryogenics play a central role in the ITER Tokamak: the machine's superconducting magnets (10,000 tonnes in total), the vacuum pumps, thermal shields and so [...]

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  • Central solenoid assembly | First sequences underway

    What does it take to assemble the magnet at the heart of ITER? Heavy lifting, unerring accuracy, and a human touch. The central solenoid will be assembled from [...]

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    Supervisors ensure compliance and completion as machine and plant assembly forges ahead. In Greek mythology, Argus was considered an ideal guardian because his [...]

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  • Component repairs | Removing, displacing and disassembling

    A good repair job starts with a cleared workbench, the right tools on hand and a strong vise. This axiom, true for odd jobs in a home workshop, is also true for [...]

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Of Interest

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Review affirms robust design of ITER's cryolines

Natural (-10 °C) and artificial (-269 °C) cooling: the international review panel in action last week. (Click to view larger version...)
Natural (-10 °C) and artificial (-269 °C) cooling: the international review panel in action last week.
The fact that inside a fusion device it gets hotter than in the core of the sun leaves Hans Quack pretty cold. "Fusion is in fact 40 percent cryogenics," he says, and—being a professor for refrigeration and cryogenics at the University of Dresden—he knows.

At JET, cryogenics was already used for the vacuum cryopanels and for the handling of the fuel. The next step—using cryogenic refrigeration for the superconducting magnets—was pioneered at EAST, KSTAR and Wendelstein. But the ITER cryogenic system is an order of magnitude larger and much more complex than what has been built before, and is only comparable to the cryogenic system of the LHC at CERN.

The ITER machine will rely on a cryoplant, which will produce the required cooling power, and a cryo-distribution system to distribute the helium coolant to ITER's high-field magnets, cryopumps and thermal shields. "Cryolines will be crossing into the reactor," says Hans Quack "a situation that you don't have in a fission device."

This complex and sophisticated system of cryogenic transfer lines and manifolds was the subject of discussion at the ITER Headquarters last week during the conceptual design review of ITER's cryolines that was chaired by Hans Quack, and that brought together many international experts. "The very good level of preparation was recognized by the reviewers," said Luigi Serio, Responsible Officer for ITER's cryosystem, summarizing the review. "We are now sure that we have a robust design and that we can proceed with procurement of the cryolines for ITER."

The Procurement Arrangement is expected to be signed at the end of this month.


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