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Important steps forward for the central solenoid

Paul Libeyre, CS&CC Section Leader

In this wooden engineering mock-up, module 3L is seen in crosssection, the upper part of the toroidal field coils is represented at the back with the precompression ring fixture in orange, and the vertical tie-plates (part of the central solenoid precompression structure) are represented in light blue. Charles Lyraud and Neil Mitchell from the ITER Organization talk over insulating breaks. (Click to view larger version...)
In this wooden engineering mock-up, module 3L is seen in crosssection, the upper part of the toroidal field coils is represented at the back with the precompression ring fixture in orange, and the vertical tie-plates (part of the central solenoid precompression structure) are represented in light blue. Charles Lyraud and Neil Mitchell from the ITER Organization talk over insulating breaks.
ITER's central solenoid, the central magnet that will drive the current in the ITER plasma, will be constructed by the United States using conductor lengths delivered by Japan. Completed central solenoid components will be shipped and assembled on-site in Cadarache by the ITER Organization before final installation of the central magnet inside the tokamak device. Several important steps were made recently on the road toward the construction of this key component.

Following a call for tender launched late last year, in July US ITER awarded the contract for the manufacture of the central solenoid modules to the San Diego-based firm General Atomics, well-known in fusion world for hosting the DIII-D Tokamak. The manufacturing of the modules is planned to start in 2014, with delivery of the first module in 2016.

The central solenoid Preliminary Design Review this month in Oak Ridge. (Click to view larger version...)
The central solenoid Preliminary Design Review this month in Oak Ridge.
The central solenoid Preliminary Design Review, another prerequisite to manufacturing, was hosted by US ITER in Oak Ridge on 20-22 September. Developments in the design carried out since the Conceptual Design Review held in October 2009 were presented to the review panel. Chaired by Michel Huguet, former director of the Naka site during the ITER Engineering Design Activities phase, the review panel including magnet experts from Europe, Russia, Japan, China and the US. The panel praised the quality of presentations prepared by Wayne Reiersen's team (US ITER) and appreciated a visit to the nearby scale 1 wooden engineering mock-up of the upper and lower parts of the central solenoid. Although the report from the Preliminary Design Review has not yet been finalized, the way toward final design is now open.

John Smith (left), Team Leader for General Atomics, shows off the building that will host the central solenoid module manufacturing line. (Click to view larger version...)
John Smith (left), Team Leader for General Atomics, shows off the building that will host the central solenoid module manufacturing line.
Following the award of the central solenoid manufacturing contract, General Atomics began forming a team that will be led by John Smith and that will include some members involved in the central solenoid model coil manufacture in the 1990s. In the city of Poway, near San Diego, a building was purchased to host the manufacturing line for the central solenoid modules. On 26 September, ITER Organization and US ITER representatives met in San Diego at the General Atomics site to review and discuss the manufacturing procedure planned by General Atomics engineers. A visit to the module construction building was arranged for the visitors.


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