OF INTEREST: Construction: What to expect in 2015?

​In this new video Fusion for Energy recaps the main progress achieved in ITER construction in 2014 and presents the activities that are presently unfolding.

’2015 is the year of construction,’ says Romaric Darbour, F4E’s Deputy Project Manager, 'The works for ten new buildings and facilities will kick off such as the cryoplant; magnet power conversion; radio frequency heating; cooling towers; cleaning facilities and the control building. The construction of the second floor of the Tokamak building is also expected to begin this summer.’

OF INTEREST: What’s new at WEST?

​The April issue of the _Do_WEST_Newsletter 09_DoX_WEST Newsletter _Dx_is out.

The 2nd WEST Governing Board took place on March 5, 2015. WEST international partners have come from China, Europe, India, Japan, Korea and USA to share the progress on the project, joining efforts to achieve the common objective : first plasma in 2016.

Series Production launched for complementary Divertor components. In addition to the ITER-like prototypes to be tested in WEST, the divertor is constituted of complementary elements based on alternative technologies. The series production of these key plasma-facing components has been launched.
New European partners for WEST. On March 4, 2015, two European laboratories, KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany) and IPP.CR (Institute of Plasma Physics, Czech Republic) have signed a Letter Of Intent to join the collaboration on the WEST project.

EVENT: Assembly and Installation Industrial Info Day

The ITER Organization is hosting an Industrial Information Day on 21 May 2015 to present the scope and the procurement program of the ITER assembly and installation phase.
The full-day event will include overview presentations on the management of the planned work scope, tender rules and regulations, and presentations on specific work contracts.

EVENT: ITER Open Doors Day 2015

On Saturday 30 May 2015, the ITER Organization, in collaboration with Agence Iter France and the European agency for ITER, Fusion for Energy, will again open its doors to the public.

This 6th Open Doors Day will give the public the exceptional opportunity to visit the foundations of the Tokamak Complex and walk to the very spot where the ITER tokamak will be assembled.

NEWSLINE: See-through formwork

During the construction of the Tokamak Complex, some 80,000 embedded plates need to be positioned in the rebar lattice prior to pouring concrete.
Embedded plates built into the floors, walls and ceilings of the seven-storey structure will provide strong anchorage for equipment such as tanks, piping, cable trays, feeders and diagnostics.
Each plate is assigned a precise position by the construction design documents and 3D Configuration Management Model. However, in some strategic areas of the Tokamak Complex, the steel reinforcement is so dense that specific techniques need to be implemented to position the plates within extremely narrow tolerances.
This is the case with the bioshield — the 3.2-metre-thick circular structure surrounding the Tokamak, whose role is to protect workers and the environment from radiation generated by the fusion reaction.
The bioshield also has another function: it provides robust anchorage for the 18 radial walls of the cryostat ’crown,’ which distributes the considerable forces exerted by the combined mass of the Tokamak machine and the cryostat (25,000 tons) and by their movement during operations.
The structural 'suite’ formed by the crown, the radial walls and the bioshield is one of the most strategic of the entire installation. A full scale mockup, built to test constructability, has already provided some valuable lessons.
One of the lessons is the temporary replacement, on the inner wall of the bioshield, of the traditional plywood formwork with see-through Plexiglas panes.
’Based on the construction design documents, the precise positioning of the embedded plates and of each of their studs is pencil-marked on the transparent Plexiglas,’ explains ITER’s civil works team coordinator Laurent Patisson. 'As we progressively install the steel rods for the bioshield, we can easily detect any potential conflict between their position and that of the plates and therefore adapt as necessary the location of either the rebar or the studs welded on the plates.’
Using Plexiglas instead of wooden planks to achieve better precision is nothing revolutionary. But in the utterly complex and challenging world of ITER construction, every detail counts. A plate misplaced by one or two centimetres might seem inconsequential. In ITER, nothing is.

NEWSLINE: Final design check for piping in India

Later this year, when the first lot of cooling water piping under Indian scope arrives at the Mediterranean port of Fos-sur-Mer, a convoy of 50 to 70 trailer trucks will be waiting to transport the containers to the ITER site.

And that’s just the first batch. Six months later the remaining lots of piping will be shipped from India to France, thereby completing the scope of Indian-procured piping required for the ITER component cooling water, chilled water and heat rejection systems.

Following a Final Design Review for first-lot piping one year ago, the Indian Domestic Agency held the Final Design Review for the remaining lots on 27 March in Gandhinagar. The review panel—composed of ITER Organization and ITER India representatives as well as experts from the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL)—was chaired by MS Shelar from NPCIL. In the sidelines of the meeting, the ITER Organization members of the review panel had the opportunity to visit the cooling tower manufacturing facilities located near Kolkata and Delhi.

The company responsible for the final design, Larsen & Toubro, presented its work during the review, including design calculations, analysis, qualification, manufacturability and constructability, and the manufacturing plan; this led to a comprehensive technical discussion among the participants. The review panel appreciated the quality output that had resulted from the hard work and collaborative efforts of Larsen & Toubro, ITER India and the ITER Organization, and gave useful recommendations to be complied with.

The review panel will meet again remotely to finalize the technical recommendations for the close-out of the review.

OF INTEREST: Another day, another transformer…

Same component, same origin, same route: the second of four high voltage transformers procured by the US and manufactured in Korea reached Marseille’s industrial port (Fos-sur-Mer) on Sunday 19 April.

The 87-ton component was unloaded the following morning and placed in storage, where it will remain until the last two transformers reach Fos (delivery expected around 10 May).

On the ITER platform, near the 400 kV switchyard, workers are putting the finishing touches to the large concrete pit that will host the first transformer, which should be operational in the early months of 2016.

Connected to the switchyard, it will bring down the voltage to 22 kV and dispatch power to the various plant systems of the installation.


OF INTEREST: MAST-Upgrade coil installation completed

​An important milestone has been reached on the MAST-Upgrade project, with the re-installation of four of the largest magnetic coils inside the machine.

Many of the internal poloidal field magnetic coils are new, especially around the upper and lower parts of the device. Only four coils in MAST-Upgrade remain from the original MAST experiment — the large mid-plane P4 and P5 (upper and lower) coils.

But it was not as simple as just leaving them in the vessel — they were removed with all the other internal equipment to enable the interior to be fully stripped down and cleaned. The coils were also comprehensively cleaned, including a hydroblast pressure wash. The P5 coils were then fitted with new flux loops.

Prior to re-installation, a full spatial survey of the vessel and coil supports and indeed of the shape of the coils themselves was undertaken. All four cleaned and surveyed coils were re-installed a few weeks ahead of schedule, on new strengthened coil supports inside the MAST-U vessel. A final survey indicated they were within 0.5mm of their optimum position — minimizing any stray fields when operations commence.

Coil re-installation is an important step, marking in many ways the beginning of the rebuild of the tokamak.

OF INTEREST: Studying plasma physics online

​The Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is presenting the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on plasma physics and its applications, including fusion energy, astrophysical and space plasmas, societal and industrial applications. Enroll now !

A team including Prof. A. Fasoli, Prof. P. Ricci and colleagues at the Plasma Physics Research Center (CRPP) of EPFL, recorded the first MOOC on the basics of plasma physics and its main applications.

Current titles include:
• Basics of plasma physics
• Basics of space plasmas in astrophysics
• Industrial and medical applications of plasmas
• Basics of fusion as a sustainable energy
• Advanced concepts in fusion such as magnetic confinement, plasma heating and energy extraction.
Classes start on May 1st. The course is given in English and will last 9 weeks.
Register or get more information here or view the course introduction on YouTube.

OF INTEREST: News from JT-60 SA

The mission of the JT-60SA tokamak (based in Naka, Japan, and financed jointly by Europe and Japan) is to contribute to the early realization of fusion energy by addressing key physics issues for ITER and DEMO. It is a fully superconducting tokamak capable of confining high-temperature (100 million degree) deuterium plasmas, equivalent to achieving plasma energy balance if 50/50 deuterium/tritium were used. It is designed to help optimise the plasma configurations for ITER and DEMO, and has a large amount of power available for plasma heating and current drive, from both positive and negative ion neutral beams, as well as electron cyclotron resonance radio-frequency heating. The machine will be able to explore full non-inductive steady-state operation.

More news in the March issue of the JT-60 SA newsletter.

OF INTEREST: "Father of the modern flywheel" dies at 96

Lawrence Livermore Lab physicist Richard "Dick" Post, the "father of the modern flywheel" who worked at the lab for 63 years, died Tuesday night following a short illness, lab officials said. He was 96.
Post joined the Livermore lab in 1952, just months after it opened. He researched magnetic fusion energy alongside luminaries such as physicists Herb York, the lab’s first director, and Edward Teller, "the father of the hydrogen bomb."
Post retired in 1994, but continued to work, driving himself to the lab four days a week to research various projects, including his flywheel battery. He worked until the last week of his life.

Read more here

OF INTEREST: China’s KTX will produce 1st plasma in June

​In its April issue, the newsletter from the Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) focuses on KTX, the reverse pinch machine that came into existence on 30 March. The mission of KTX is to explore the plasma profiles of future commercial fusion reactors. 'KTX will produce its first plasma in June,’ says Pr. Liu Wandong, chief engineering director and dean of the Modern Physics Department at University of Science and Technology of China.

Read more in the _Do_KTX.pdf_DoX_April issue _Dx_of the ASIPP Newsletter.

OF INTEREST: 12th International Workshop on Beryllium Technology

​The 12th Workshop on Beryllium Technology will be held from 10 to 12 September 2015 on Jeju Island, South Korea. The objective of this workshop is to disseminate results of research and technology development in areas relevant to beryllium utilization in nuclear power systems, both fission and fusion.
Click _Do_BeWS-12.pdf_DoX_ here_Dx_ for more information on the program.

OF INTEREST: Proton beams are back in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider

​After two years of intense maintenance and consolidation, and several months of preparation for restart, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, is back in operation. Today at 10.41am, a proton beam was back in the 27-kilometer ring, followed at 12.27pm by a second beam rotating in the opposite direction. These beams circulated at their injection energy of 450 GeV. Over the coming days, operators will check all systems before increasing energy of the beams.

"Operating accelerators for the benefit of the physics community is what CERN1’s here for,’ said CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer. "Today, CERN’s heart beats once more to the rhythm of the LHC.’  

"The return of beams to the LHC rewards a lot of intense, hard work from many teams of people," said Head of CERN’s Beam Department, Paul Collier. "It’s very satisfying for our operators to be back in the driver’s seat, with what’s effectively a new accelerator to bring on-stream, carefully, step by step.’

The technical stop of the LHC was a Herculean task. Some 10,000 electrical interconnections between the magnets were consolidated. Magnet protection systems were added, while cryogenic, vacuum and electronics were improved and strengthened. Furthermore, the beams will be set up in such a way that they will produce more collisions by bunching protons closer together, with the time separating bunches being reduced from 50 nanoseconds to 25 nanoseconds.

Read more on CERN website.

OF INTEREST: Investigating "magnetic reconnection"

By Raphael Rosen, Printeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, a set of four spacecraft that will study the magnetic fields surrounding Earth, may employ data provided by Printeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, which operates the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX), the world’s leading laboratory facility for studying reconnection. Results of the MRX research could elucidate the space probes’ findings, said Masaaki Yamada, principal investigator of the MRX project.

Reconnection takes place when the magnetic field lines in plasma merge and snap apart with violent force. But NASA is flying blind in a sense when seeking such events, since mission operators don’t know precisely where reconnection will occur in space or what the data it produces will look like. And since the explosive events occur in milliseconds, the MMS craft, orbiting in tight formation at an average speed of some 20,000 miles per hour, will have only fleeting moments to detect and measure the phenomena.

Read more on PPPL website.

OF INTEREST: 10 years old and counting on its 50,000 processors

​When ITER scientists needed to simulate how particles travel and transport radiation in the ITER machine, they bought time in one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe: Mare Nostrum (link), the flagship machine of the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC).

The collaboration with the Spanish public institution, whose 10th anniversary was celebrated on 1 April, has now shifted to simulation studies of ELM control techniques — another field of study that requires crunching huge quantities of numbers.

High performance computing has become essential to the progress of science and technology. With close to 50,000 processors and a computing power of one thousand billion operations per second, Mare Nostrum has contributed to establishing three-dimensional maps of the galaxy, mathematical models of the expansion rate of the Universe, the sequencing of the human genome…

In a video address to the participants of the 10th anniversary ceremony, ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot stressed the importance of BSC’s contribution to ITER.

ITER and the Spanish institution have crossed ways many times: former ITER Deputy-Director Carlos Alejaldre was part of BSC’s executive board in the mid-2000s and, more recently, one of the ITER Monaco Postdoctoral Fellows joined BSC’s computational physics group, bringing with him the valuable experience he gained while at ITER.

OF INTEREST: The stellarator as an alternative concept

Collaboration in European fusion research has a long history: In 1961, the Max Plank Institute of Plasma Physics became an associate of the European Fusion Programme, which comprised the fusion laboratories of the European Union and Switzerland. In the 1970s, the European fusion laboratories decided to build and operate the Joint European Torus (JET). In 2014, the programme was restructured and EUROfusion formed as a consortium of 29 national fusion laboratories (Research Units).

A goal of this reorganization is to efficiently implement a roadmap to the realization of fusion energy. The roadmap has been developed within a goal-oriented approach articulated in eight different missions—mission 8 focuses on the stellarator. It also prioritises the financing of the Fusion Programme.In mission8, the stellarator line as an alternative concept for fusion electricity is being developed.
In mission 8, the stellarator line as an alternative concept for fusion electricity is being developed. The European works concentrate on optimised stellarators based on the HELIAS principle—a stellarator line which was invented and developed at IPP. Wendelstein 7-X is a cornerstone of this line which is decisive for mission 8 and which will give answers to fundamental questions in plasma physics at the same time.
Read more in the Wendelstein 7-X March newsletter