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ITER update.

China's first Toroidal Field (TF) Conductor sample for ITER was successfully tested at the SULTAN test facility in Switzerland. The sample exhibited good and stable performances with a current sharing temperature of the order of 6.9 K at 68 kA and a background field of 10.78 T, even after 950 cycles. This performance qualification is a prerequisite to the execution of the Procurement Arrangement and will enable the China ITER Domestic Agency to launch the production of its 7.5% share of the TF Conductor.

In March four outstanding issues with the design of the ITER vacuum vessel and its in-vessel components were identified. These issues related to the nuclear shielding of the present vessel, the forces on the blankets during abnormal events and the integration of the ELM coils into the present design which has been a challenge from the beginning. In addition, the manufacturability of the vessel, including repair and cost issues, was identified by industries both in Korea and Europe. A three months study was launched of possible technical solutions for the baseline design as well as a potentially attractive alternative design as a backup option.

The results of this effort were presented and discussed in a comprehensive design review in Cadarache the week of 7-10 July. The review was conducted by the former Deputy Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Rich Hawryluk, with participation from engineers and scientists from all around the world. The facts and figures that had been prepared for the studies were explored "with creativity and ingenuity and substantial progress in a short period of time", as the review committee stated, allowing a comparative assessment of both options.

The committee concluded that the reference design was more mature at this time and with some necessary modifications much closer to meeting the technical requirements of ITER. It recommended to go ahead with the reference design with the understanding that the design and integration of the in-vessel coils be satisfactorily resolved and a confirmatory analysis of the nuclear heat load be completed.

On 10 July, the ITER Organization and the European Domestic Agency, Fusion for Energy (F4E), signed a Procurement Arrangement (PA) in Barcelona for the Power Supply System for ITER's Neutral Beam Injectors. The procurement for this system will be shared between Europe--representing about one-third of the package--and Japan.

Neutral Beam Injection is part of the ITER heating and current drive systems. Its purpose is to deliver a high-energy beam of neutral deuterium atoms that is used for plasma heating as well as current drive and current profile control. ITER will be equipped with two neutral beam heating and current drive injectors. Each one will deliver a deuterium beam of 16.5 MW (initial total 33 MW), with particle energies of 1 MeV, and will be able to operate for long pulses.

The power supplies are an important and challenging part of this system and represent 64% of the investment for the ITER neutral beams. The signing of the procurement document by Europe is encouraging news for the Neutral Beam Test Facility (NBTF) which is to be built in Padua, Italy.

Currently there are approximately 400 personnel working at the ITER site.

Further information available at
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Publication:Fusion Power Report
Date:Sep 1, 2009
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