Five years ago when the very first Conductor Meeting convened at ITER, only a handful of magnet Procurement Arrangements had been signed and strand production had not yet been launched in the factories of China, Europe, Japan, Korea, Russia and the US.
This past week, the tenth Conductor Meeting took place in Turin, Italy near the Criotec facility—where production lengths of toroidal field conductor have been coming off the jacketing and compaction lines since 2012
and, this year, the first poloidal field copper dummy was jacketed for Russia
Conductor Meetings, held semi-annually
, bring together members of the magnet teams from ITER and the Domestic Agencies, ITER Organization contractors, and industrial suppliers from the six producing ITER Domestic Agencies for a review of the status of magnet qualification activities, strand production, cabling, and jacketing.
Welcoming over 50 participants was Antonio della Corte, from the ICAS consortium (ENEA, Tratos Cavi, Criotec). "The meeting is an excellent opportunity for the main actors involved in ITER conductor and coil fabrication to share their know-how and to develop common technological expertise," says Arnaud Devred, head of ITER's Superconductor Systems & Auxiliaries Section. "In a collegial setting, open issues can be discussed in a thorough and constructive way."
As ITER conductor production reaches its peak
, the focus of magnet activities is shifting to the next phase—coil manufacture. In Turin, in addition to the responsible officers from all 11 conductor Procurement Arrangements, representatives for the coil Procurement Arrangements were present to discuss interface issues (responsible officers from Europe and Japan for the toroidal field coils, from Europe and Russia for the poloidal field coils, from China for the correction coils, and from the US for the central solenoid).
Arnaud reported during the meeting on the continued strong progress in conductor production. Approximately 95 percent of toroidal field strand lengths and more than half of toroidal field conductor unit lengths have been fabricated. Strand and conductor production for the poloidal field coils has been launched in Russia, Europe and China. Correction coil and feeder (correction busbar) conductors have entered production in China. And, last but not least, a technical solution has been found for the challenging
central solenoid conductors and production has been launched for the lower module of the central solenoid coil stack module (CS3L).
"In spite of a difficult environment and tough constraints, thanks to a generalized collaborative spirit, mutual trust and understanding at the technical level we are making great strides in ITER conductor production."
The next Conductor Meeting will take place on 18-20 March 2014 at the ITER Organization.
Twenty promising students with a high level of specialization in fusion were the recipients on 27 September of the first Fusion Master and Fusion Doctorate certificates
awarded by FuseNet, the European Fusion Education Network that was established in response to the emerging need to educate the "ITER generation."
With fusion research transitioning from the laboratory to industrial scale, a broad range of highly skilled engineers, in addition to physicists, will be needed to operate ITER and to develop the science and technology required to build a fusion power plant.
It is this need that FuseNet
seeks to address. The 40+ members of the FuseNet Association (universities, fusion research centres including ITER, and industry) have joined forces and resources to attract the brightest students to fusion and offer them the best possible education program.
The first round of certificates were presented to nominated students in recognition of excellence in fusion science and technology in a ceremony at JET by the EFDA leader Francesco Romanelli, FuseNet's Academic Council chair Ambrogio Fasoli, and FuseNet chairman Niek Lopes Cardozo. Applications for European Fusion Master or Doctorate certificates are evaluated twice per year. Full information can be found on the FuseNet website
The latest gathering of the project's Unique ITER Team late September was also the occasion for the signature of two Procurement Arrangements with the European Domestic Agency.
The first Procurement Arrangement covers the distribution system of hot gas for the regeneration of the vacuum system cryopumps. "The signature of the Warm Regeneration Line Procurement Arrangement is a momentous occasion for us," stated ITER Vacuum Section Leader Robert Pearce after the signature, "as it is the first of five Procurement Arrangements for vacuum equipment that will be signed with Europe.
"It is our smallest value Procurement Arrangement," explained Technical Responsible Officer Igor Sekachev, "but it comes as result of significant design effort and much negotiation between the ITER Organization and European Domestic Agency teams."
The new ITER Technical Responsible Officer for the Procurement Arrangement, Shaun Hughes, explained how the system will work: "ITER will have 12 very large cryopumps distributed around the machine and the neutral beam injectors. Normally, these run at very low temperatures (4.5K) to effectively pump all the different types of gases in vacuums. But to remove different types of gases from the pumps, different temperatures will be required. The warm regeneration lines will distribute helium at temperatures of between -200 ºC and + 200 ºC to all the cryopumps to allow all pumped gases from the vacuum system to be released and processed."
It is expected that the warm regeneration lines will be one of the first distributed systems to be installed in the Tokamak Building in 2017.
The second Procurement Arrangement, for the design of ITER's radiological and environmental monitoring system (REMS), is under the responsibility of the Tritium Plant Section. As the name of the package suggests, most of the system is needed after First Plasma and in preparation for nuclear operation.
However, the system also includes beryllium monitoring and instruments like the stack monitors or x-ray monitors for certain parts of ITER which will already be required for First Plasma. The procurement package has thus been split into two parts: first, further detailing of REMS requirements and the execution of preliminary and final design; and later REMS hardware (which will be signed at a later date).
"Cost containment is very important if fusion is to become a competitive energy source," Henrik Bindslev, director of the European Domestic Agency, reminded those present. "Value engineering, therefore, must be continued in all areas."
"Nine months, precisely," says Cryostat Section Leader Bharat Doshi with a large smile. "The Cryostat Workshop was conceived in May and we are expecting delivery in February ..."
As the 22-23 September Manufacturing Readiness Review demonstrated, the "baby" is in very good health, growing fast and strong. Joint efforts by the Indian Domestic Agency and contractors Larsen & Toubro, Spie Batignolles TPCI, Currie & Brown were visibly appreciated by the review panel made up of representatives from the ITER Organization and ITER-India, who acknowledged that the building's construction design fulfilled requirements.
About half of the steel columns are already in place; in the coming weeks they will double in height to attain 27 metres, adding a new and distinctive feature to the ITER platform.
"The Cryostat Workshop
—110 metres long, 44 metres wide and 27 meters tall—will be comparable to an Airbus hangar," says Bharat. "It will be a large steel structure with slightly positive pressure inside, equipped with a huge, motorized, airtight door (15 x 33 m) for the passage of the preassembled cryostat sections."
The steel structure will be rather light, but sturdy for a building this size. Approximately 500 tonnes of steel will go into the trusses, beams and columns. "The strength of the local winds (for example, the Mistral) as well as heavy loads have been taken into consideration," adds Bharat.
A large 200-tonne goliath crane (also called a gantry crane) capable of travelling the whole length of the building will be solidly anchored into the floor. The crane, whose components will come from Italy, will be installed after the closing of the roof.
When it's up in all its length and breadth in February, the temporary Workshop with its dull-grey livery will be the second industrial building on the ITER platform. For few years, the Workshop—actually more a factory than a workshop according to Bharat—will host the assembly, welding and testing of the ITER cryostat sections."
The "baby" will not have to wait long for its first large toy: the lower cryostat components are due to be delivered on site in 2015.
The ITER Project will be present at the world's largest gathering on energy, the 22nd World Energy Congress, from 13-17 October 2013 in Daegu, Korea. Representatives from the ITER Organization and the seven ITER Members will participate for the first time in this major international event on energy, devoted this year to "Securing Tomorrow's Energy Today."
With over 5,000 participants from 100 countries, and 25,000 visitors expected over the five days of the conference, the 22nd World Energy Congress (WEC) is the world's premier event on energy. Launched in 1924 and held every three years since 1971, the Congress offers a unique venue for energy sector stakeholders—policy makers, chief executives from leading energy companies, industry experts and researchers—to debate the way to a sustainable energy future.
The rise of renewables and alternative fuels as well as the development of new energy technologies is increasingly shaping the energy market. In this context, the ITER Organization and the seven ITER Members will be participating in the Congress for the first time in order to showcase fusion and the ITER Project.
The ITER stand (located in Hall 2, B420) will be manned by representatives of the ITER Organization and the seven Domestic Agencies. The Director-General of the ITER Organization, Osamu Motojima, will participate in a Congress session entitled "Fusion: Betting on a different future?" Smaller sessions on the Project for the general public and a press conference (Tuesday, 15 October at 11:00 a.m.) will also be organized. Newsline will be reporting from Korea.
See the Press Release in English and French.