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ITER NEWSLINE 240
On 2 October, the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy (F4E) and the ITER Organization have successfully concluded the first site acceptance test of the Control, Data, Access and Communication (CODAC) integration of the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility controller.
Due to the impressive size and weight of the poloidal field coils, ranging from 10 to 24 metres and weighing up to 400 tonnes, a specific building was constructed to assemble them on the ITER site.
The F4E CODAC team and the Site, buildings and power supplies project team worked together to achieve this result in collaboration with OMEGA and INEO.
The main objective of this activity was to integrate the local Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility alarm monitoring system into the overall site alarm system which will be in place for the building construction activities over the next eight years.
The system handles more than 2,000 signals generated by the poloidal field coils building subsystems responsible for heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, cooling water, heating water, electrical distribution, cranes and fire detection. Any alarm generated by those systems will be visible on any location through the CODAC network.
The excellent collaboration between the F4E and the ITER Organization CODAC teams, along with the technical support received from ITER towards the development of the poloidal field coils building interface, made this joint initiative a success.
Last week, an international group of more than 70 members from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) payed a full-day visit to ITER. The ICE was founded in 1818 by a group of young engineers in London's Fleet Street with the goal to ensure and maintain high standards among its members—a role it continues today. During the one-day event, the engineers were given ten presentations illustrating the many different facettes of the ITER project, from its scientific goals to its safety approach, its assembly strategy, fuel cycling and, of course, its engineering challenges.
In his welcome address, ICE president Richard Coackley praised all those people who make ITER happen:
"This is not only technology advancement but also a global integration project, helping create a new culture and standard for the world.
Europe is an open continent. Today it's much easier to cross borders, move around and work in another country. And at ITER we have a global community of engineers, scientists and technologists all at the leading edge developing our future global vision right here.
Engineers can move around as their education and experience is recognized in other member states and countries, thanks to the recognition of professional qualifications.
We want to cooperate and share knowledge with similar bodies in all countries on important issues affecting society, the profession, or global and European legislation.
We have a great mix of engineers at this conference, from all stages in their professional careers.
Our professionalism is what unites us all.
We all need to maintain that professionalism. And that means we need to maintain our competence on a regular basis. We need to develop our knowledge all the time, as we are living in a fast-moving world where we need to be reviewing and assessing new views of society and technological inventions and then embedding them in our work.
That is why continuous professional development, or CPD, is so important. We can also show that we are always learning and keeping up-to-date. I encourage all of you to complete your CPD as you progress through your careers.
It's important because it's engineers who provide the vision and design for the projects we need—and help the construction industry workforce realize the benefits for society in the most efficient way possible.
Some of you will know that the theme of my presidential year is 'harnessing energy'—of the natural world, of our partnerships with industry and governments, and of engineers.
By harnessing your energy, we will continue to grow the reputation and value of engineers and scientists to society and to the economies we serve.
Engineers can lay a foundation for the future so that we as professionals can unleash our energy to secure a better world, and I can't think of a better project than ITER to deliver this."
What is your research about? It's not often that you see a scientist break out in dance when you ask that question. Yet this is exactly what the international contest Dance your PhD challenges young researchers to do: explain their work in the form of a dance performance. The winner gets featured in Science and at TEDxBrussels, and wins a USD 1,000 prize.
At the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research DIFFER, PhD candidate Rianne 't Hoen took up the gauntlet with the great escape, a performance about hydrogen retention in the wall materials of future fusion reactors.
As a researcher, Rianne 't Hoen works on the physics behind retention of deuterium and tritium in tungsten, the candidate material for the ITER divertor. She started her four-year PhD research at DIFFER in 2009, the same year that saw the first edition of Dance your PhD.
"My PhD dance is performed around and on the experiment I'm using for my research, Magnum-PSI. It is capable of reproducing the conditions that we expect in the wall of a fusion reactor so that we can test materials on their capabilities of withstanding such a harsh environment."
Rianne 't Hoen's performance is one of the entries in the physics category of Dance your PhD. A jury consisting of scientists and artists rate each entry on the creativity and on how it manages to bring across the key scientific concept in the research.
Participants can win one of four USD 500 prizes in the categories of biology, chemistry, physics and social science, with the best of these four receiving another USD 500 prize and the chance to present their movie at the TEDxBrussels event. The winners will be announced in the coming weeks.
Click here to watch a video of Rianne 't Hoen's performance
The components that were delivered on Wednesday, 20 September to Cadarache may look quite insignificant; their mass and their value represented no more than 0.001 percent of the Procurement Arrangement to which they belonged, but they carried a strong symbolic value.
The five pressure relief valves received by the ITER vacuum team are the very first components delivered by the US ITER Domestic Agency. They are part of the vacuum auxillary systems supply used in the acceptance and construction testing of many ITER procurements.
"What we have here," says ITER Vacuum Section Head Robert Pearce "is just the spearhead. It arrived on schedule and we are now waiting for the next batch of test equipment which consists of some 40 m3 of leak detectors, pumps, instruments etc., that we defined in collaboration with our US colleagues."
From acceptance to final commissioning, no less than 94 man-years of vacuum testing will be performed on the ITER components during the construction phase. Holding one of the five pressure relief valves in his hand, Liam Worth (vacuum team member responsible for the test program) states, "Over the next 10 years, this piece will have been used as part of more than 1,000 tests..."
The five pieces are quite simple—no spectacular technological achievement was involved in their manufacturing. However, they demonstrate that the complex and demanding procurement process established within the ITER Project has delivered: the first design review was held in November 2010, the Procurement Arrangement was signed in March 2011 and the "spearhead" was delivered as expected in September 2012.
The US and ITER Organization vacuum teams have kept to schedule; the vacuum team is now looking for a place to store the bulk of equipment that will soon be delivered to ITER. "A nice problem to be faced with ..." says Robert.
The International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF) will characterize the properties of the building bricks of future fusion power plants.
The project is part of the Broader Approach that Japan and the European Union formally launched in 2007 in parallel with the ITER Agreement. IFMIF is coordinated from Rokkasho in the Aomori prefecture and is led by Juan Knaster, formerly an ITER staff member in the Magnet Division.
Already in the heart of its Engineering Validation and Engineering Design Activities (EVEDA) phase, the validation activities involve top-level European research institutions and the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), which coordinates the work of various prestigious Japanese universities.
The enthusiastic IFMIF/EVEDA project community is full of energy, which can be felt through the 40 papers presented at the recent SOFT 2012 conference held in Liège (Belgium).
IFMIF will generate a neutron flux capable of providing 50 displacements-per-atom/per-year (dpa/y) in 100 cm³ and 20 dpa/y in 500 cm³ in its high flux testing modules. These modules will house 960 different specimens to provide a complete mechanical characterization of the chosen material. Using small specimens is a well-known technique that has been around for decades in the field of fission reactor vessels. It is being jointly developed by both implementing agencies for future fusion applications.
The 14 MeV neutron flux will be generated by bombarding a beam of deuterons at 40 MeV onto a liquid Li screen flowing at a speed of 15 m/s and a temperature of 250 ºC through a series of (d, Li) stripping reactions. Both facilities involved will be validated thanks to an accelerator prototype, LIPAc, presently under construction in Rokkasho and by the EVEDA/IFMIF Li test loop in Oarai in the Ibaraki prefecture.
The Li loop built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Mechatronics Systems, Ltd (under a contract with JAEA) was ready to operate early in 2012.
However, the terrible earthquake that hit Japan on 11 March 2011 caused severe damage. Due to the enormous interest in the global fusion program and after a difficult year where massive efforts were made to repair the facility, the nightmare has finally been forgotten and the Li loop is back in operation. Now back on track, it has a heavy scientific agenda lined up for it over the next two years or so.