FIRST ITER PLASMA CHAMBER READY FOR SHIPMENT
A milestone achieved at Taekyung Heavy Industries (THI) in Changwon in early May brings the ITER Project one step closer to the start of its tokamak assembly phase. The first vacuum vessel sector sub-assembly tool (SSAT) has demonstrated all functional performance in factory acceptance tests conducted in the presence of observers from the ITER Organization and the Korean Domestic Agency. The tool has now been down and packed for shipment to the ITER site—over 800 tonnes of metal plus auxiliary components packed into 90 shipping crates that will ship in five batches. The first batch, containing lower elements plus all hydraulic activators and accessories, shipped this weekend and is expected to arrive on 30 June.
From their location in one area of the ITER Assembly Building, two identical SSAT tools will support the weight of 440-tonne vacuum vessel sectors within the triangle formed by three large columns, as lateral wings slowly rotate thermal shielding and two 310-tonne toroidal field coils into place. The challenge of the operation—reflected in the careful design and prototyping phase of the tools—is in assembling large and very heavy components to extremely unforgiving tolerances. The first of the twin tools was manufactured in segments by the Korean contractor THI and then assembled completely at the factory for inspection and testing. Lessons learned on the realization of the first tool will serve in the fabrication of the second, which has started now in Korea.
ITER (“The Way” in Latin) is one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today.
In southern France, 35 nations are collaborating to build the world’s largest tokamak, a magnetic fusion device that has been designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy based on the same principle that powers our Sun and stars. The experimental campaign that will be carried out at ITER is crucial to advancing fusion science and preparing the way for the fusion power plants of tomorrow. (Source: ITER)