you're currently reading the news digest published from 16 Sep 2019 to 23 Sep 2019



Milestone | A celebration for the first ring coil

A 400-tonne ITER magnet—poloidal field coil #6—has been completed in China through the collaboration of the European Domestic Agency (Fusion for Energy) and contractor ASIPP. The coil will reach ITER in December. At the Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) in Hefei, a six-year-long industrial adventure has come to a close with the completion of the final fabrication steps on poloidal field coil #6 (PF6). In 2013, the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy had been looking for an industrial partner to manufacture the smallest of the five poloidal field coils under its responsibility, and the only one that could be transported by sea and road to reach ITER. The collaboration agreement negotiated with ASIPP—which was signed in May that year—held advantages for both parties according to Jean-Marc Filhol, Head of the ITER Programme Department in the European Domestic Agency. 'Our partner ASIPP has been able to gain further experience in the manufacturing of large superconducting coils for tokamaks, while on our side, the collaboration has made it possible to deliver two coils on time to the ITER Organization—PF6 and PF5 (manufactured at the same time by European contractors in a dedicated facility at ITER).' After its delivery to the ITER site, the PF6 coil will be cold tested by Fusion for Energy in the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Building. As the bottommost magnet, PF6 will be installed first during machine assembly, immediately followed in the installation sequence by PF5. Working in close collaboration with project supervisors from Fusion for Energy, ASIPP's team of 80 was able to move steadily and methodically through each of the challenging fabrication phases: The winding of approximately 13 kilometres of niobium-titanium (NbTi) superconductor into nine double pancakes of rigorously controlled dimensions (profile accuracy of +/- 1.5 mm); The stacking and joining of the nine double pancakes, resin impregnation of the entire assembly, and finally the addition of piping, instrumentation and clamps delivered by the Chinese Domestic Agency. Testing, including dimensional, global leak, and high voltage tests. When completely packaged for transport, the component will travel by barge on the Yangtze River to Shanghai, where it will be loaded for ocean transport to Fos-sur-Mer harbor in France, with the objective of arrival at ITER in the middle of December. On 20 September, a ceremony was held in the ASIPP fabrication hall in the presence of representatives of the Chinese government at local and national level, the Chinese and European Domestic Agencies, ASIPP, and dignitaries. to celebrate the completion of the PF6 manufacturing and the launch of China's Comprehensive Research Facility for Fusion Technology (more on that planned facility here). After the speeches, video messages from the ITER Director-General, Bernard Bigot, and from the Director of Fusion for Energy, Johannes Schwemmer, were shown. 'Via this collaboration, ASIPP, the Chinese Domestic Agency, and Fusion for Energy have further strengthened the basis of the ITER Project, which relies heavily on efficient collaboration between the different ITER Members to realize unprecedented achievements,' concludes Filhol.

Portfolio | Inside the cold factory

Pipes and tanks of all sizes and colours, valves, compressors, truck-size electrical motors, zeppelin-like gas bags, puzzling contraptions evocative of sea monsters ... the ITER cryoplant is a world of industrial strangeness. The installation is unique, larger than any in the world and tasked with a daunting mission: to provide cooling fluids to 10,000 tonnes of superconducting magnets, eight massive cryopumps, and thousands of square metres of thermal shielding. As high as a seven-storey building and the size of two soccer fields, the cryoplant is but part of the massive industrial infrastructure required to operate ITER. On the 42-hectare ITER platform, it takes close to 40 buildings, accommodating dozens of different plant systems, to light the little star inside the ITER Tokamak. Scroll through the gallery below for more information on the mechanical installation activities underway now.

Open Doors Day | Sharing ITER with 1,000 visitors

Rain notwithstanding, the 15th edition of the ITER Open Doors Day was a success, with close to one thousand people attending. Fifty volunteer guides from the ITER Organization, the European Domestic Agency, and all of the major worksite contractors were present, each one ready to share ITER from his or her unique perspective.

Heat removal | Moving 10 tonnes of water per second

If ITER were a fusion power plant, the amount of heat produced by the machine would be partly absorbed by the steam generators and turbines that initiate the electricity-generating process. But ITER is neither a fusion power plant nor a steady-state device: it is an experimental machine designed to demonstrate the technical feasibilityof fusion energy. As it will operate in pulses, the heat production will only occur during relatively brief plasma shots (between five minutes and one hour depending on the regime). And the totality of the heat generated will need to be evacuated, requiring a properly designed heat rejection system. Burning plasmas are not the only source of heat in the ITER installation. The compressors and cold boxes in the cryoplant, the transformers and converters in the magnet power conversion buildings, the power supply for the neutral beam injectors ... all this equipment produces significant quantities of heat (although not comparable to that produced inside the ITER Tokamak) that must be extracted at all times through a vast cooling water network comprising kilometres of piping, dozens of pumps, and several thousand valves. Whatever its source, the cooling water ends up in two 10,000-cubic-metre basins: one 'hot,' where water is stored before being cooled in the induced-draft cooling tower, and one 'cold,' which receives the cooled water as it leaves the cooling tower. The amount of water that needs to be circulated within this system is huge—in the range of 10 cubic metres per second. A set of 13 vertical turbine pumps, submerged deep in the basins, are tasked to move up to one tonne of water per second per pump. Three of them are dedicated to recirculating the water from the hot basin to the cold basin and balancing the peaks of heat generated by the plasma pulses. Six circulate water from the cold basin through the heat exchangers that receive the heat load from the Tokamak and dump it into the hot basin. Finally, four pumps cool the heat exchangers that take in cooling water from other parts of the installation (cryogenic systems, electric power supplies, etc.). Installation of the vertical turbine pumps began last week with the insertion, in each pump housing, of the 10-metre-long shaft that will connect the rotor (or impeller) to a powerful 870 kW electrical motor. In order to withstand the considerable forces that the rotation of the impeller and the flux of water will exert, the component must be perfectly positioned and balanced. The shaft, bearings and impeller are manufactured within 100 microns of tolerance. At the bearings, horizontal deflection cannot exceed 0.05 mm. Ten shafts are now installed. And the horizontal deflection does not exceed 0.03 millimetres ...

ITER Manga | Now in Provençal

Four generations ago, at the turn of the 20th century, regional languages were still very much alive in rural France. Breton was widely spoken in the Brittany peninsula, Basque in the southwestern Basque country, and Alemannic dialects in the provinces bordering Germany. In the villages around ITER, as in most of southeastern France, the daily language was Provençal, a Romance language that, like French, Spanish, Italian or Romanian, derives from Latin. In its literary form, Provençal has always held special prestige: it was the language of the Middle Age troubadours and of the poems and epics of Frédéric Mistral, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1904. Today, Provençal survives through countless expressions and turns of phrases that permeate the French language. It is also kept alive by a growing community of enthusiasts who study classical Provençal literature, teach, write and publish. A graduate of the prestigious École Polytechnique and an engineer in the ITER Tokamak Engineering Department, Thierry Cerisier belongs to this informal community. Contrary to many he was not exposed to Provençal in his childhood but developed, as a student, a strong intellectual attraction for the language. 'I did a lot of personal work,' he explains, 'reading the classics as well as contemporary literature, which is considerable in both volume and quality.' Once a week at ITER, Thierry teaches a small class of a dozen students from France, Canada, the UK and Romania. Three years ago, he wrote the Wikipedia article on ITER in Provençal, and more recently decided to tackle an original challenge: translating into classical literary Provençal the manga that ITER Japan produced in April of last year. Publishing a manga in Provençal conveys two messages. One is about challenging 'the common cliché of Provençal as a dusty thing from the 19th century'; the other is a way of paying homage to Japan, where the major classical works have long been translated and literature departments in several universities provide classes in Provençal. As, over the years, Provençal has been progressively marginalized as a spoken language, one might think that it is not particularly adapted to dealing with contemporary issues such as the energy crisis and the challenges of fusion. 'You'd be surprised,' says Thierry. 'There are entries for deuterium and tritium in one of the major French-Provençal dictionaries and several articles on nuclear energy have been published in reviews and magazines.' The ITER engineer concedes that words or expressions such as 'renewable energy source' or 'atomic nucleus' required a bit of creativity and at times the creation of neologisms. Thanks to enthusiasts like Thierry, the reality of today and the promises of tomorrow can be expressed in the language that poets used a thousand years ago to express the values of courtly love and chivalry. And the future is assured: to his two children, aged three and six, Thierry speaks exclusively Provençal.


"Miniature ITER" to run tritium experiments next year

In order to generate large amounts of fusion power, there needs to be a combination of two heavy hydrogen nuclei such as deuterium and tritium. But because of the radioactive nature of tritium—and also its scarcity—most experimental plasmas consist of deuterium only. Although scientists are able to scale up the predicted performance of deuterium-tritium (DT) plasmas, there is nothing like using the real DT mix itself. Next year, the European tokamak JET will be re-introducing tritium into its vacuum vessel for the first time since 1997. The importance of its DT experimental campaign cannot be overstated for ITER. Until ITER starts operation with tritium in 2035, JET tritium and deuterium-tritium experiments will offer fusion scientists the opportunity to investigate physics relevant to high-fusion-power DT plasmas. Read more about the planned campaign on the website of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.

On "Roundtable": Is nuclear fusion a source of limitless energy?

Roundtable, from TRT World, describes itself as a discussion program with an edge. Broadcast out of London, it's about 'bringing people to the table, listening to every opinion, and analyzing every point of view.' In September 2019, host David Foster invited an illustrious panel to discuss the potential of hydrogen fusion: ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot; Steven Cowley, director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and former CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority; Mark Wenman, Imperial College London; and Colin Walters, current director of the UK Atomic Energy Authority. Click here to watch the 25-minute program.


A diaphragm is installed in TCV and delivers promising first results!

Hátborzongató ott állni, ahol a százmillió fokos plazma fortyog majd

Outside Insights: Alternative Fusion

EU lends €250m for fusion energy research in Italy

For Green Energy, MIT Aims To Build 'A Star On Earth'

Új korszak kezdődik, amikor kigyúl a második Nap

Energia, reattore a fusione: la roadmap europea e il ruolo del DTT

Magnetisme bag fremtidens energikilde


Wachten op kernfusie

£22m fusion energy research facility to open in Rotherham in 2020

국내서 개발 ITER 핵심 부품, 프랑스 운송 개시

국내 개발 ITER 핵심 '열차폐체' 프랑스로 운송 시작

핵융합 핵심부품 '100% 국내기술로 완성'...99.9% 열 차단 '열차폐체' 제작