Following the successful Final Design Review for the ITER blanket in April 2013, the first of seven Procurement Arrangements for the blanket system were signed last week between the ITER Organization and the Chinese and Korean Domestic Agencies.
China and Korea will share the procurement of the blanket shield blocks—the „backside” of the 440 blanket modules that support the plasma-facing first wall and provide neutron shielding for the vacuum vessel and coil systems. These thick steel blocks, weighing up to 4 tons a piece, also have to accommodate interfaces with other components and in particular a large number of diagnostic systems. For this reason there are a total of 28 major design variants and 150 or more minor design variants.
„Last week’s signatures were the culmination of several years of design and R&D effort on the part of the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies,” says Rene Raffray, Blanket Section Leader. „Working together with the ITER Organization as part of the Blanket Integrated Product Team (BIPT), the procuring Domestic Agencies have been fully involved in the design since the start.”
The first phase of Procurement Arrangement execution will be the call for tender to be launched in China and Korea to manufacture the first shield block prototypes based on procurement specifications and 3D drawings/2D assembly drawings provided by ITER.
„It has taken a lot of hard work, but it is rewarding and a credit to all those at ITER and in the Chinese and Korean Domestic Agencies who contributed to the achievement of these important milestones on time,” says Raffray. „They are the latest in a list of on-time Blanket accomplishments that includes successfully going through the different system design reviews, and which have in great part been possible through active collaboration among the ITER Organization and the procuring Domestic Agencies within the BIPT framework.”