The blanket technology is one of the most challenging issues for the success of the ITER Project. That is why its review drew much attention this week.
What an impressive meeting this was! More than 80 participants involving experts from the ITER Organization and six ITER Members attended this week's conceptual design review (CDR) of the ITER blanket at the Château de Cadarache. It was the first formal review of the whole system since the design review performed in 2007 and it had been "...eagerly awaited by many around the world," as this is a critical plasma-facing component, explains Deputy Director-General Gary Johnson in this week's Director's Corner.
Following the comprehensive review of the 2001 ITER design performed in 2007, some key deficiencies such as the thermal loads on the first wall and remote handling issues had been identified. These issues have since been addressed in a joint effort by the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies within the framework of the Blanket Integrated Project Team. One of the outcomes presented at this week's CDR was a complete set of thermal load specifications, "...indeed the most complete I have seen in any tokamak," said Richard Pitts, one of the leading scientists in the ITER Fusion Science & Technology Department.
"I am impressed by the amount of work achieved within one year," chairman André Grosman, Deputy Head of Magnetic Confinement Fusion Research Institute (IRFM), said. "Thanks to the dedication and synergy within the team, today we have a comprehensive design for the ITER blanket and the first wall. The design copes with all the major deficiencies of the 2001 design. However some challenges still remain such as the interfaces. These are even more intricate in the updated design than in the old design because of the in-vessel coils."
The panel also pointed out the "excellent preparation of the review and the excellent quality of the talks." The chits which were produced are now being analysed by the panel and will be categorised within the next two weeks. return to Newsline #117