13 Dec 2021 to 10 Jan 2022
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Poloidal field coils | 12 months saved on number two
Whatever their size or position, the role of the ITER poloidal field coils is to shape and stabilize the plasma inside the vacuum vessel. However, as the plasma is not vertically symmetrical, the strength of the magnetic field the coils need to exert in order to create and maintain 'plasma equilibrium' depends on their location. For instance, although they are the same size (17 metres in diameter), PF5, located below the mid-plane of the vacuum vessel, will generate a much stronger magnetic field than PF2, located above. And the same goes for bottom coil PF6 and top coil PF1, or for 'middle coils' PF4 and PF3. Because the magnetic field is defined by the intensity of the electric current times the number of conductor turns, the coils encircling the upper half of the tokamak are much lighter than their siblings installed below. On 17 December 2021, PF2 was moved to temporary storage—the second of four ring-shaped coils to exit the on-site European manufacturing facility. (The first, PF5, had followed the same path on 16 April 2021 and has since been installed in the Tokamak pit.) At 204 tonnes, PF2 weighs approximately 120 tonnes less than PF5 despite an identical diameter. This is explained by the fact that PF2 comprises six double pancakes, each wound from two layers of 10 conductor turns (6 km of superconducting cable in all), whereas PF5 comprises eight double pancakes, wound from two layers of 14 conductor turns each (11.5 km of superconducting cable in all). Fewer turns is not the only reason that PF2 was produced in record time—fully 12 months less than its sibling PF5. Such a remarkable result can be credited also to the 'lessons learned' during the fabrication of the first coil. 'Several factors contributed to reducing the manufacturing time,' explains Pierre Gavouyère-Lasserre, Deputy Project Manager for poloidal field coils at the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy. 'Some have to do with the physical rearrangement of the facility, such as the partition into two main areas, each under the responsibility of one contractor. A building extension was also created, which gave us an additional working station and allowed us to reconfigure the whole workshop.' The improvement of tooling performance through better preventive and corrective maintenance activities also played its part, as did the installation of a third overhead crane to facilitate the management of coactivity in the workshop. It is the human factor, however, which seems to have had the strongest effect on manufacturing performance. 'The acquired knowledge, skills and experience of the operators (both on machine control and manual operations), the synergy between the different actors, and a better management of the interfaces between our six contractors decisively contributed to the operation's success.' As PF5 is now installed on temporary supports in the Tokamak pit and PF2 is in storage pending its turn in the installation sequence, work keeps progressing on the two remaining coils, PF4 and PF3, both 24 metres in diameter. All eight double pancake windings for PF4 are now stacked and ready for resin impregnation and the individual impregnation of the first three double pancakes for PF3 is underway. PF4 will be the next poloidal field coil to exit the workshop, finalized and handed over to the ITER Organization during the first semester of 2023. PF3 will follow approximately one year later. See a recent update on poloidal field coil manufacturing from Fusion for Energy.
Divertor dome | Russia delivers a full-scale prototype
A multiyear qualification program in Russia has concluded with the successful manufacturing and testing of a full-scale divertor dome prototype at the Efremov Institute in Saint Petersburg—one of the main suppliers of the Russian Domestic Agency. At ITER it will enter the first divertor integration trials, where prototypes of all divertor components produced by Europe, Japan and Russia will be assembled for the first time. In a tokamak device, the divertor is the component at the base of the plasma chamber that extracts heat and ash produced by the fusion reaction, minimizes plasma contamination, and protects the surrounding walls from thermal and neutronic loads. The divertor is carefully engineered to withstand large heat and particle fluxes on its plasma-facing surfaces—the inner and outer vertical targets and the dome—while providing exhaust channels for the escaping material. Arranged in a circle at the bottom of the vacuum vessel, the divertor is made up of 54 "cassette assemblies"—each one formed from an actively cooled structural backbone (the cassette body) in austenitic steel and copper alloy, plasma-facing elements covered in tungsten tiles and, for some cassettes, diagnostic systems. The vertical targets directly intercept the magnetic field lines and are designed to withstand heat fluxes as high as 20 MW/m²; the dome, located between the two divertor channels, may face heat fluxes up to 10 MW/m². In producing the full-scale dome prototype, engineers at the Efremov Institute of Electrophysical Equipment (JSC NIIEFA) had to learn how to master a series of technical operations (welding, machining, brazing the tungsten tiles) in full respect of extremely tight dimensional tolerances and leak tightness requirements. The tolerances are especially demanding on the plasma-facing surfaces and on the underside of the component, where the dome will be attached to the divertor cassette. The dome prototype arrived at ITER in December 2021. The next qualification step will be to create the first divertor assembly by integrating the dome prototype and prototypes of the inner (European Domestic Agency, Fusion for Energy) and outer vertical targets (ITER Japan) onto a full-scale prototype of the divertor cassette body (Fusion for Energy). According to the machine assembly schedule, the 58 divertor dome units are expected on site between 2023 and 2027.
Image of the week | Adjusting a correction coil's position
Compared to the massive ITER magnets that weigh up to 400 tonnes, the machine's correction coils are quite lightweight: at 4.5 tonnes, they are the smallest of the superconducting magnetic system. Distributed around the machine in three sets of six (top, bottom and side), they are tasked with reducing the minute deviations of the magnetic field caused by imperfections in the position and geometry of the toroidal and poloidal field coils. Based on a build-to-print design developed by the ITER Organization, they are the procurement responsibility of the Chinese Domestic Agency and its contractor ASIPP (Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences). The first bottom correction coil (BCC/4) was installed in the assembly pit on 21 October 2021, followed five days later by BCC/5. The correction coils must be precisely positioned in a very restricted space between poloidal field coils #5 and #6, lower magnet feeders, and staging platforms. Depending on the coil, the 'room to move' is in the range of 15 to 25 mm. Facing similar constraints, a third kidney-shaped bottom correction coil (BCC/6) was successfully installed on 5 January. Workers from the CNPE Consortium (Tokamak assembly contractor TAC/1) are seen here carrying out metrology measurements and adjusting the coil's position on its yellow temporary supports (final positioning will be possible only when all vacuum vessel modules are in place). A fourth bottom correction coil (BCC/3) is scheduled for installation this week, while the full set of six should be in place by the end of February.
Bringing a vacuum vessel sector into tooling
Fusion in Europe: December 2021 issue
New "Fusion Is Now" Video
How will we extract the particles from ITER cryopumps?
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Fusión Nuclear ¿Qué es un tokamak y cómo puede contener una estrella?
Japan seeks nuclear fusion reactor prototype by midcentury
Fusion finance: could private capital deliver energy's holy grail?
UK brings fusion to the forefront
Unexplainable podcast: The Quest to Build a Star
Fusion energy is a reason to be excited about the future
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Was 2021 A Breakthrough Year For Fusion Energy?
[초점] 현실로 다가온 핵융합 에너지, 美·英·中 '슈퍼 베팅'
国立研究開発法人 量子科学技術研究開発機構 QST News Letter (January 2022)
La révolution de la fusion : une percée technologique utilisable pour la planète
Des entreprises privées se lancent dans la fusion nucléaire
Enerpac EVO System Set for ITER Tokamak Magnet Lift in 2024
IPR Newsletter: "The Fourth State" (January 2022)
A physical mock-up of EU DEMO tokamak in exhibition at CAE Conference 2021
China's 'Artificial Sun' Project Heats Up the Competition
Fueled By Billionaire Dollars, Nuclear Fusion Enters A New Age
China's 'artificial sun' hits new high in clean energy boost
South Korea Announces New Plan on Nuclear Fusion R&D
Die Sonne auf der Erde: Kernfusion zur Lösung irdischer Energieprobleme
제4차 핵융합에너지개발진흥기본계획 확정..."2050년대 전력생산 실증"
South Korea Wins Another ITER Project
Will Nuclear Fusion Ever Power the World?
Chasing Energy's Holy Grail: Was 2021 Fusion Power's Breakthrough Year?
Термоядерный реактор токамак: мегасайенс-проект с уникальными характеристиками
Nuclear fusion in spotlight as world seeks clean energy future
Fusione nucleare, Eni protagonista nella sfida per energia pulita
Fusion energy needs private-public partnerships and workforce development
Scientists at PPPL and Princeton University demonstrate a novel rocket for deep-space exploration
After years of doubts, hopes grow that nuclear fusion is finally for real and could help address climate change
Fusion nucléaire : le secteur privé entre en course
MHI awarded ITER contract
Illuminating Magnetic Turbulence in Fusion Plasmas
China sets to build fusion energy research facility
PPPL unravels a puzzle to speed the development of fusion energy
Final winding pack for Europe's ITER toroidal field coils
На стройплощадку реактора ИТЭР прибыл прототип центральной сборки дивертора производства АО «НИИЭФА»
인공태양 30초 운전 성공···그 의미와 과제는?
On the brink of a new era in nuclear fusion R&D
Key components of Power Supply System of the new tokamak COMPASS-U delivered
Ten outstanding scientists receive EUROfusion Researcher Grants
EUROfusion Engineering Grants for fifteen innovative researchers
EUROfusion signs Horizon Europe Grant Agreement
A Fusion of the future— meeting the challenge of ever increasing demand for energy whilst reducing CO2 emissions — (Part 2 of 2)
How are the MITICA beam line components shaping up?
Jak kontrolować plazmę i chronić reaktory termojądrowe? Polacy pracują nad systemem monitorującym
Kodolsintēzes patiesības mirklis nav tālu. Ko latvieši dara gigantiskajā projektā ITER
Mastering the manufacturing of ITER poloidal field coils
Plasma Discharge Duration at KTM Tokamak has been Increased Fourfold in 2021
La Suisse et le Royaume-Uni continuent à faire partie d'EUROfusion
Malta joins the EUROfusion programme
How Switzerland and the UK stayed part of EUROfusion
한국전력기술, ITER '케이블 KCMS 구축사업' 수주했다