The first dummy copper conductor unit length measuring 760 metres was completed this week at Nippon Steel Engineering, Japan.
On Tuesday, 12 January, there was the official opening by Nippon Steel Engineering of their ITER jacketing line facility.
The ceremony was traditionally led by Shinto priests.
The Japanese Domestic Agency (JA-DA) and Nippon Steel Engineering (NSE) last week completed the compaction and spooling of the first dummy copper conductor unit for ITER's Toroidal Field (TF) Coils with a length of 760 metres at the Wakamatsu plant. The applied pull-through and compaction process was originally developed for the Model Coil conductors. It consists of assembling a straight and long conduit by butt welding tube sections, then pulling the superconductor cable through the whole conduit length and finally compacting the long tube onto the cable by passing both of them though the rolls of a compaction head, and simultaneously spooling the compacted cable-in-conduit.
The JA-DA has set up a 900 metre-long industrial jacketing line near the town of Wakamatsu to fabricate the Japanese share of TF and CS conductors. The line has been designed, fabricated, installed and commissioned by NSE. It includes not only fabrication tools but also inspection and test equipment (e.g., non destructive examination of welds).
The completion of the first ITER dummy TF conductor Unit Length is a necessary step before superconductor cable-in-conduit is fabricated. This is full scale verification of the process application as well as the equipments and tooling. The NSE team completed successfully the various fabrication steps, assembling the 316LN tubes produced by Kobe Special Tube Co., Ltd., inserting the dummy cable fabricated by Hitachi Cable at 2m/min and eventually applying the compaction and the final spooling. Thanks to the high level of preparation of the NSE team all steps went very smoothly. The next challenge is now to fabricate the first superconductor cable-in-conduit lengths which are scheduled in February.