Following the successful commissioning of the ITER power supply test facility at the Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) last December, another exciting step forward has been made in the procurement of ITER’s poloidal field converters.
The short circuit tests on the ITER poloidal field converter bridges and external bypass were accomplished successfully on 8 January 2014. In a series of stringent tests, partially witnessed by technical staff from the ITER Organization and the Chinese Domestic Agency, the soundness of the design and manufacture of these key components was demonstrated.
These tests included the short circuit withstand test, the dynamic current balance test, the prospective fault current test with the intervention of electronic protection, the FSC test with the intervention of electronic protection, and the FSC test without the intervention of electronic protection. The novelty of the component design created specific requirements, far different from similar tests performed in the past. The series tests were characterized by high test current (up to 430 kA) and complicated prospective waveform. Efforts from the engineers from the AC/DC converter team at ITER China resulted in the successful conclusion of all required type tests.
These positive test results—which demonstrate that manufacturing can fully meet the design requirements of the ITER poloidal field converters—pave the way for series production to begin.
With representatives from the seven ITER Members gathered for last week’s extraordinary ITER Council meeting, it was the perfect opportunity to finalize the signatures on four agreements, each one representing a step forward in ITER Construction.
The first agreement signed increases ITER Organization property by 10 hectares. When the ITER Organization and the Host Organization CEA signed the Site Support Agreement in November 2009 it was specified that „… the Host Organization shall make available through a specific act to the ITER Organization an area of land,” consisting of approximately 181 hectares. On 6 July 2010, around 100 of the 181 hectares were transferred the ITER Organization by notarial deed. This year the ITER Organization requested the transfer of a second portion of land from CEA—approximately 10 hectares—in order to prepare a storage/logistics platform for the storage of ITER components as well as for the unpacking and repacking necessary for assembly activities.
The second agreement marks the kick-off for the design and procurement of the first Test Blanket System, a vital step on the way to tritium self-sufficiency. A reliable and efficient „breeder blanket” technology will be necessary for heat transfer and fuel generation in future fusion power plants and ITER will provide a unique opportunity to test the mockups of these breeding blankets, called Test Blanket Systems, in a real fusion environment. Among the key milestones along the road to procurement are the signing of six specific TBM Arrangements that correspond to the formal implementation of six Test Blanket Systems in ITER.
Almost 20 years after the establishment of a first ITER Test Blanket Working Group, and not quite two years after the endorsement of the generic TBM Arrangement by the ITER Council, the ITER Organization and the Chinese Domestic Agency signed an arrangement last week for the design, manufacturing, transport and delivery of a Helium-Cooled Ceramic Breeder test blanket system to the ITER site by 2021. This is the first of six TBM Arrangements expected be signed in the course of the year.
Also signed last week was a Procurement Arrangement with the Russian Domestic Agency for the enhanced heat flux first wall panels for the ITER Blanket System. The signature opens the way for the fabrication of these key components that, as they directly face the plasma, will have to withstand the highest heat flux of the machine (up to 4.7 MW/m2). The Russian Domestic Agency will procure 171 enhanced heat flux first wall panels (plus 8 spares), for installation in the upper and outboard regions of the vacuum vessel. As the first Procurement Arrangement signed for blanket first wall panels, this was a milestone event; two further Procurement Arrangements for this system will be signed in 2015 with China (for the remaining enhanced heat flux first wall panels) and Europe (for the normal heat flux panels).
Finally, a document was signed with the United States relative to the supply of materials for the ITER plant’s steady state electrical network (400 kV gantries for the overhead lines of the steady state electrical network and metal structures to support the 400kV electrical equipment gantries and structures). Although the provision of this equipment had originally been assigned to the United States, it was later agreed by all parties that there were advantages to procuring the same gantry and structures as those used by the French electricity transmission network RTE for the Prionnet substation. As of last week’s agreement, the scope has been transferred to the ITER Organization.
The International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF) in Rokkasho, Japan will house a state-of-the-art accelerator capable of creating the kind of high-powered neutrons that will interact with first wall materials in future demonstration and commercial fusion power plants.
The accelerator’s technological feasibility is being tested through the design, manufacturing, installation, commissioning and testing activities of a 1:1-scale prototype accelerator known as LIPAc (Linear IFMIF Prototype Accelerator), whose aim is to generate a 140 mA deuteron beam at 100 keV.
Following months of preparatory work, LIPAc activities have reached an important milestone. The deuteron injector—designed and manufactured at CEA Saclay in France as one of the voluntary contributions to the IFMIF project from France—passed acceptance tests and was shipped to Rokkasho last year. In November 2013 a joint team of European and Japanese engineers unpacked the injector components and proceeded with pre-installation activities under the guidance of Raphael Gobin and Patrick Girardot, experts from CEA. The first phase was completed at the end of the year and the installation phase has been initiated under the monitoring of the European Domestic Agency’s Broader Fusion Development Department based Garching, Germany. The aim is to complete the assembly of the accelerator components and begin testing by early 2017.
IFMIF is part of the Broader Approach Agreement signed between Europe and Japan. The role of the European Domestic Agency for ITER is to coordinate the European IFMIF activities supported by the voluntary contributions of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. Its main responsibilities are the integration and follow‐up of activities conducted by European groups working on the three projects of IFMIF: the prototype accelerator, the test facility and the target facility.
You can read the original article and find out more about the Broader Approach here.
With over 7,000 visitors in 2013, the newly formed ITER Visit Team has been busy welcoming and accommodating visitors since taking over visit coordination tasks last year from the Joint Visits Team (a joint venture between ITER Organization, Agence Iter France and the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy).
Agence Iter France has refocused its activities on school visits, welcoming over 8,000 schoolchildren in 2013 for a specially adapted program on fusion and site biodiversity.
While the ITER website has often been the first point of contact for the public and the fusion community, it is during an ITER visit that visitors get a chance to put a „face” to the Project. The purpose of the visits is to educate the public on fusion basics, acquaint them with the current status of the Project and take them on a tour of the construction site.
_To_69_Tx_The ITER Visit Team welcomes visitors of all backgrounds—from fusion experts to professionals, government delegations and the general public—drawing on the participation of many ITER staff members who volunteer their time as well as logistics support from Agence Iter France and Fusion for Energy.
From the 10 year old hearing about fusion for the first time, to the fusion experts finally seeing their research come to fruition, each ITER visit is specially tailored. Common questions range from „When will we have commercial fusion reactors?” and „How much does the ITER Project cost?” to „Where do we get tritium?” and „Why do we need it?”
The number of visitors has been steadily increasing since 2007, with over 65,000 cumulative visitors to the site (14,820 in 2013). School visits account for 53 percent of the visits in 2013, with the general public coming in at 21 percent and professionals making up the third largest category of visitors at 9 percent.
The enormous ITER superconducting magnets will operate at only four degrees above absolute zero and will be powered by converters located in buildings outside the Tokamak Complex. The connection of these cold magnets to the room-temperature electrical busbars is implemented through a unique series of components where the cold and warm worlds meet—the high temperature superconducting current leads.
The prototypes of these leads will be cooled down and powered for the first time at the ASIPP Institute in Hefei, China during the second half of 2014. The ITER Magnet and Control System Divisions have worked together for the last two years on the design and construction of the instrumentation, control, and interlock systems that will be necessary to safely perform these tests.
This joint effort reached its first milestone last December when the Factory Acceptance Test of the control system for the lead tests was successfully completed on the premises of Tata Consulting Services (TCS) in Pune, India. Staff from ITER as well as Indian engineers from TCS and Chinese scientists from ASIPP have worked last year to get the control system ready for delivery on time.
These tests represent an important milestone not only for our colleagues in the Magnet Division but also for the CODAC and interlock teams at the ITER Organization. The design of this control system is fully based on the hardware and software solutions developed by these teams during the last years and the tests are a very useful opportunity to prove their performance and identify any potential improvements. Last but not least, this project has shown how two ITER Divisions in two different Directorates can make a success out of a common endeavour.
The cubicles shown above were packed in Mumbai for a flight to China in the coming days, where they will be commissioned and finally connected to the equipment under testing conditions.