A blanket of 440 modules covering a surface of 600 m² will protect the inner walls of the ITER Vacuum Vessel and the Toroidal Field coils from the scorching temperatures of the fusion reaction and the high-energy resulting from it.
Inside the clean room workshop of De Pretto Industrie (Vincenza) a team of technicians is inspecting the large stainless steel vessel. The vessel has passed successfully the Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) proving it is leak tight. It will house the beam source of MITICA – a testbed which will allow industry to manufacture for the first time a real-size Neutral Beam Injector (NBI) according to ITER specifications, and give the opportunity to physicists and engineers to monitor its performance before the “real” component is produced to operate in ITER.
The F4E team is carrying out a routine inspection at CNIM (La Seyne sur Mer) before the machines are switched on to start fabricating the ITER Pre-Compression Rings (PCRs). The raw material to be used –pultrude laminate— comes from Exel, a company based in Finland. This is a genuinely European collaboration connecting north and south. The workforces have been briefed. Their mission is to produce all of the nine PCRs (six plus three spare). The prototypes produced by CNIM have responded well to the demanding tests they had to go through. Now is the time to start the production of the ITER PCRs which will be installed in the machine.
DEMO – the demonstration fusion machine to follow ITER— has always been a bit of an enigma.What will it look like, how many buildings will it have, will it resemble to ITER? F4E and EUROfusion joined forces to develop the first illustration of the entire power plant.
Teams from Europe and Japan are working relentlessly with companies and laboratories to design and manufacture the pieces of equipment that will allow us to perform these tasks. Man-in-the-loop robotics such as manipulators, movers, cranes and actuators will be deployed to work with extreme precision.
The International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF)/ Engineering Validation and Engineering Design Activities (EVEDA) is one of the Broader Approach (BA) projects financed by Europe and Japan to perform research and to develop equipment in support of fusion.
A workforce of 1 900 people is working round the clock to conclude the works of the biggest fusion experiment.
Jean Arthuis, Chairman of the Budget Committee of the European Parliament visited the ITER site on 1 February 2019. The French MEP, and former Minister of National Economy and Finance, was welcomed on the site by Bernard Bigot, ITER Director-General, Johannes Schwemmer, F4E Director, and Jan Panek, Head of the ITER unit at European Commission´s Directorate-General for Energy.
When there is a will there is a way. Scientists from CEA’s WEST (Tungsten Environment in Steady-State Tokamak) fusion experiment, Cadarache, France, “hosted” virtually in their control room several of the colleagues siting in the Remote Experimentation Centre (REC), Rokkasho, Japan.
The Budgetary Control Committee of the European Parliament, chaired by German MEP Ingeborg Graessle, organized a public hearing on the added value of EU funding on 21 January 2019.
The clock is ticking for one of the most delicate steps in the fabrication process of the ITER Toroidal Field (TF) coils.
The engineers involved in ITER’s Remote Handling system face several challenges: first, they have to develop some of the most futuristic pieces of equipment that will operate using virtual reality and man-in-the-loop robotics; second, although ITER is by far the biggest fusion device, space is an issue because there is a lot of tooling which needs to be neatly installed; third, due to the levels of radiation in the machine, all maintenance needs to be carried out remotely and the equipment needs to fit for this environment; and last but not least, this is a community of experts entering unchartered territory. Nothing like this has been tried before.
The prospect of beating all previous records by delivering a piece of equipment that will push forward R&D is on its own enticing enough to get involved in a project. If one gets to be a pioneer but also has the opportunity to acquire know-how which could yield substantial benefits the temptation is even greater. Take for instance the beam source for MITICA, the second experiment of the prestigious ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility, which will help us to fine-tune key fusion technologies. It’s an invitation to make history in the field of negative ion beams.
“Climate Change – The New Economy” is the key publication for COP as it provides the stage for world leaders, government and NGO representatives to present their vision, as well as for scientists, experts and companies to offer technological solutions for the future. The publication is released a few weeks before the conference. In this year’s edition, Johannes Schwemmer, F4E Director, advocates in favour of fusion as an “abundant, safe and sustainable energy for the future”, underlines the importance of ITER as “an essential step to binging the power of the sun to earth”, and highlights the role of the EU in the quest for fusion energy.
When ITER is operational the gases resulting from the fusion reaction will be pumped with the help of six cryopumps from the lower part of the torus to the roughing system, and two from the cryostat of the machine. The cryopumps, which measure 3.4 x 1.8 m and weigh about 7.8 t will be identical for both systems. In essence, they will pump gases by absorption on charcoal coated cryopanels at 4.5 K and subsequently will treat them in a closed circuit as part of the fuel cycle.