With an obvious and keen interest for European and global energy production issues, F4E hosted the annual Energy Group Meeting of the European Physical Society (EPS) at its Barcelona headquarters during 4-5 October. Gathering 25 participants from 15 countries all over the world, the purpose of the meeting was to exchange knowledge and give an overview of energy-related topics.
BERN – Switzerland has the lowest carbon-intensity of its energy supply among all IEA countries thanks to a largely carbon-free electricity sector dominated by hydro and nuclear generation. However, with the country’s 2017 decision to gradually phase-out nuclear power, Switzerland faces a considerable energy-sector transition in coming decades.
The total number of the ITER components, their weight and size are truly impressive. The biggest fusion machine in history, counting at least one million pieces of equipment, will weigh approximately 23 000 t and will be housed in a 60 m high building. Everything about this project is a supersize shifting our mindset from “standard” fusion experiments currently in operation.
Martina Dlabajová, MEP of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and Vice-Chair of the Budgetary Control Committee of the European Parliament, visited the ITER site in Cadarache. As rapporteur for the 2017 budgetary discharge of F4E, Martina Dlabajová was keen to receive an update on the overall progress of the ITER project and in particular on the contribution of Europe.
The drilling and building on the ITER site naturally catch our attention because all the activities are unfolding outdoors. The aerial shots offer us a spectacular view of the progress. There is however another aspect to the ITER site, one linked to tooling and manufacturing. Four of the five massive Poloidal Field (PF) coils, which Europe needs to deliver, are produced in a huge workshop which is also located on-site. F4E and its contractors have set up a facility to produce the large magnetic coils that will control the shape and stability of the super-hot plasma. More than 70 people are daily working in this factory and they are focused on meeting the tight production schedule.
18 powerful superconducting magnets, known as Toroidal Field coils, will be powered with 68 000 A to generate a magnetic field of 11.8 Tesla (approximately 1 million times stronger the magnetic fields of the Earth!). In this “cage” we will entrap the energy of a small sun.