ITER Update

April 30, 2020

Korea Completes First Vacuum Vessel Sector

The first 40-degree sector of the ITER 5,000-tonne steel vacuum chamber has come off the production line in Korea after a series of factory acceptance tests carried out in March and early April. The manufacturer, Hyundai Heavy Industries, and procuring Domestic Agency ITER Korea demonstrated that the sector fully met all ITER Organization technical specifications. The 440-tonne sector is now being packed for shipment and is scheduled to arrive this summer. 'It is testimony to the ingenuity, skill, dedication and perseverance of the industrial contractors in Korea, of the Korean Domestic Agency in its oversight, and of the wider ITER Vacuum Vessel Project Team that this first-of-a-kind component—one of the most challenging of the ITER machine—has been successfully manufactured,' according to ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot.

A ceremony on 20 April at Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, Korea, was attended by Byungseon Jeong, First Assistant Minister, Ministry of Science and ICT; Young-seuk Han, President and CEO of Hyundai Heavy Industries; Sukjae Yoo, President of Korea's National Fusion Research Institute; Kijung Jung, Director General of ITER Korea; and more than 30 experts. 'Deep and close collaboration among ITER Korea, the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy, ITER Russia, and the ITER Vacuum Vessel Project Team is the key driving force of our achievement,' explained Kijung Jung. "It allows the most challenging and complicated issues to be resolved and will lead our ITER Project to success.

Vacuum vessel procurement involves four of the ITER Members; final assembly will be carried out by ITER Organization contractors on site.

Magnet Coils Arriving

The ITER D-shaped toroidal field coils have started to arrive at the ITER site. The first arrived from Europe on April 17. The second arrived from Japan on April 25. There are still 17 such loads to be delivered to ITER over the next three years. Each coil stands 17 metres high and weighs close to 350 tonnes. They are among the largest superconducting magnets ever built and their production, from initial design to finalization, spanned three decades, involved more than one thousand people and mobilized 50 different companies and institutions.

The coils form core elements of the ITER Tokamak and require exceptional care in their handling and transport. Every movement, whether during loading and unloading operations, sea voyage, or land journey, must be anticipated and carefully planned. Once having arrived by sea to Marseille, the land journey along the 104-kilometre-long ITER Itinerary, between Marseille industrial harbour and the ITER site, is particularly challenging. Some of the country roads that the convoy travels are only a few centimetres wider than the steel frame that encases the coil; several turns are sharp; a few climbs are steep. Hauling such heavy loads (600 tonnes between component and transport vehicle) requires more horsepower than regular trucks can provide, and more gently distributed. For the ITER toroidal field coils and the other ultra-heavy loads that will follow, the Dutch transporter Mammoet, operating as a contractor to ITER global logistics provider DAHER, developed a prototype trailer whose twin 'power packs' deliver the horsepower equivalent of six conventional truck tractors.

Russia Delivers Key Equipment

Six trucks filled with electrotechnical equipment for the ITER installation have arrived at the ITER site from the Efremov Institute in Russia. Over several weeks in April, a convoy of tractor-trailers carrying DC busbars for the ITER magnets, resisters and other electrotechnical equipment for the ITER installation travelled the 3,000 kilometres separating Saint Petersburg, Russia, and the ITER site. Four other trucks are on their way. The equipment they contain was developed and manufactured at the Efremov Institute (NIIEFA) for Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM. The fabrication and supply of switching equipment, busbars, energy absorbing resistors and control racks for the power supply and protection of the ITER superconducting magnets is the largest procurement package of 12 under ITER Russia's responsibility. Over five kilometres of steel-jacketed aluminium busbars insulated in epoxy wrapping and actively cooled by a constant flow of pressurized water are required to deliver DC power to the ITER magnets. The busbar network, along with the fast discharge and switching network units, will almost fully occupy two levels of the Diagnostics Building. The Russian Domestic Agency, the Efremov Institute, and the ITER Organization took all the necessary steps to have the equipment reach ITER on time and prevent any delay in the installation schedule.

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