An important milestone was recently passed on the road to the fabrication of ITER’s central solenoid by the US Domestic Agency, which has the responsibility for procuring the six modules that make up the central solenoid as well as the structure and the necessary assembly tooling. Since the signature of the Procurement Arrangement in March 2010 for this key component of the magnet system, the US ITER Project Office has been concentrating on the development of the design and the preparation of the manufacturing of the central solenoid modules.
Two years after chairing the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) in September 2011, Michel Huguet—former director of the Naka centre during ITER’s early Engineering Design Activities phase—was given the responsibility of chairing the central solenoid’s Final Design Review (FDR), which was held from 18 to 20 November at the US ITER Project Office with the attendance of magnet experts from Europe, Japan and the US.
It was a hard rush for the central solenoid team led by Wayne Reiersen (US) to provide all the required documentation in time for the review, including manufacturing drawings, analyses and R&D reports. Their high quality presentations gave an in-depth description of the design and of the supporting analyses and R&D and 3D prints allowed a better understanding of the geometry. A significant number of chits were issued by the review panel that will result in a few design modifications, but no category 1 chit, which should enable completion of the final design within a few months. Submission for review and approval of a revised 3D CAD model of the central solenoid is planned for February 2014.
In July 2011, General Atomics (San Diego, California) was awarded a contract to manufacture the six central solenoid modules. A visit of the manufacturing workshop located in Poway, California was organized after the design review on 21 November by John Smith, central solenoid project manager at General Atomics. The visitors saw the large manufacturing hall—nearly empty for the moment but ready to receive the components of the module manufacturing line in the next six months. The fabrication of a mockup module is scheduled to begin by the end of May 2014. Three dummy conductor lengths (see image) have already been delivered to Poway and will be used for the commissioning of the winding line. Manufacturing trials are also ongoing to address delicate processes like manufacture of helium inlets, joints or application of turn (see image) or ground insulation.