NEWSLINE: Successful test of current lead prototypes in China

High Temperature Superconductor (HTS) current leads are key components of the ITER magnet system, transferring large current from room-temperature power supplies to very low-temperature superconducting coils at minimal heat load to the cryogenic system. The HTS current leads for the ITER Tokamak are procured by the Chinese Domestic Agency through the Institute of Plasma Physics (ASIPP) in Hefei, China.
Following the signature of the Feeder Procurement Arrangement in January 2011, ASIPP launched a string of activities to prepare for series production. These included the qualification of critical manufacturing technologies through targeted trials in mockups, which will conclude with the manufacturing and testing of several pairs of current lead prototypes this year.
Just in time for the Chinese New Year festivities, ASIPP successfully completed the test of a pair of correction coil 10 kA current lead prototypes. Many things had to fall in place to make this test possible. First ASIPP, under the leadership of Tingzhi Zhou, and its supplier Keye had to deliver the correction coil leads on schedule. Second, a large test facility—capable of testing the coil leads as well as other ITER components such as the correction coils and feeders—needed to be built and commissioned.
The ITER Organization contributed to the test with the delivery of a turn-key control system, including critical quench detection and interlock functions. ITER’s Coil Power Supply Section also contributed by delivering a set of flexible copper busbars. These contributions are in fact prototypes of systems that are being procured for the ITER machine, and for which tests in a machine-relevant environment are important steps in their development.
After two long weeks of testing Kaizhong Ding, from ASIPP, thanked not only the test team for the hard work, but acknowledged the valuable support provided by ITER’s control, magnet and power supply teams, which in the end allowed these tests to run smoothly and to be completed in time for a well-deserved rest over the Chinese New Year holiday. 
Toroidal field and poloidal field/central solenoid prototype leads are now in final stages of manufacturing and test results will be reported in Newsline soon.