World experts on vacuum and fusion safety gathered last week at the ITER Headquarters for the Conceptual Design Review of the Vacuum Auxiliary Systems main delivery. „This is our most diverse Procurement Arrangement, covering 10 systems and including approximately 400 vacuum pumps situated all over the Tokamak Complex,” explained Vacuum Section Leader, Robert Pearce.
The design of the systems was presented in 60 presentations over 3 long days. Liam Worth, review coordinator, expounds, „The review concludes many man-years of work by members of the ITER Vacuum team; preparations have been particularly intense over the last few months.” Such work led to a successful review and Review Chair Alastair Bell commended the Vacuum team on its high level of preparation.
Passing this Review will now allow the Vacuum teams to progress to issuing the Procurement Arrangement for the systems, which should be ready to be signed between ITER Organization and the US Domestic Agency (US-DA) early next year. „Excellent,” stated US-DA vacuum team leader Michael Hechler who attended the review with four other team members.
A workshop on fusion technology beyond ITER was successfully held between the Japanese and the Korean Domestic Agencies on 8-9 November at the National Fusion Research Institute in Daejeon, Korea. A first event of this kind, the workshop aimed at sharing the technology and experience of ITER procurement and also at discussing the development pathway for fusion engineering and technology beyond ITER in Japan and Korea.
More than 40 experts in fusion attended from both countries, including the head of the Korean Domestic Agency, Dr. Kijung Jung, and the head of the Japanese Domestic Agency, Dr. Eisuke Tada.
As both Domestic Agencies have entered into the full-fledged process of procurement for ITER, it was beneficial to share technical know-how, and to exchange ideas in regards to meeting the procurement schedule as well as securing core technology without any loss of productivity.
In addition, the workshop contributed to building close collaboration between the Japanese and the Korean Domestic Agencies, precisely in the spirit of the Unique ITER team for the successful implementation of all commitments for the ITER project.
Russia makes progress with the well-timed procurement of the future facility’s components to the ITER Organization. On 9 October 2012, two qualified unit lengths of Toroidal Field Conductors for the ITER magnetic system were shipped from Kurchatov Institute, in Moscow, to the customs office for their subsequent transportation to Europe. These were the copper dummy and the 100-metre qualification conductor, Russia’s first procurement of the Toroidal Field Coils Conductor.
The conductor lengths, manufactured at the Open Joint-Stock Company All-Russian R&D Project-Design and Technological Institute of Cable Industry (OJSC VNIIKP) were delivered from the National Research Centre „Kurchatov Institute”, where they had previously undergone vacuum tests involving special equipment. The next shipment of Toroidal Field Conductors is planned to take place in compliance with the schedule.
Click here to view a video of the operation.
The components that were delivered on Wednesday, 20 September to Cadarache may look quite insignificant; their mass and their value represented no more than 0.001% of the Procurement Arrangement to which they belonged, but they carried a strong symbolic value.
The five pressure relief valves received by the ITER Vacuum team are the very first components delivered by the US ITER Domestic Agency. They are part of the Vacuum Auxillary Systems supply used in the acceptance and construction testing of many ITER procurements.
„What we have here,” says ITER Vacuum Section Head Robert Pearce „is just the spearhead. It arrived on schedule and we are now waiting for the next batch of test equipment which consists of some 40 m3 of leak detectors, pumps, instruments etc. that we defined in collaboration with our US colleagues.”
From acceptance to final commissioning, no less than 94 man/years of vacuum testing will be performed on the ITER components during the Construction Phase. Holding one of the five Pressure Relief Valves in his hand, Liam Worth (Vacuum team member responsible for the test program) states that „over the next 10 years, this piece will have been used as part of more than 1,000 tests…”
The five pieces are quite simple — no spectacular technological achievement was involved in their manufacturing. However, they demonstrate that the complex and demanding procurement process established within the ITER project has delivered: the first Design Review was held in November 2010, the Procurement Arrangement was signed in March 2011 and the „spearhead” was delivered as expected in September 2012.
The US and IO vacuum teams having kept to schedule, the Vacuum team is now looking for a place to store the bulk of equipment that will soon be delivered to ITER — „A nice problem to be faced with…” says Robert.
Everything you’ve always wanted to know about ITER „vacuum requirements” is to be found in a 44-page document (with an added 250 pages of appendixes) called the Vacuum Handbook.
The Vacuum Handbook was approved at project level in 2009 and forms part of the ITER Project Requirements and, as such, is a mandatory document to be followed by the ITER Organization, Domestic Agencies and Suppliers of vacuum equipment to the project.
„Vacuum requirements” encompass the whole set of requirements that must be observed when designing, manufacturing, installing and testing components destined to operate in a vacuum environment.
The Vacuum Handbook, whose first edition was issued in June 2009, is „both general and specific” says Liam Worth, of the ITER Vacuum Section and one of the main contributors to the document. „The Handbook contains a general background on the vacuum environment with the mandatory requirements pertaining to each of the ITER vacuum systems with the 21 appendices providing the guidelines to achieve conformity with those requirements.”
The Handbook’s requirements should be clearly stated in all Procurement Arrangement documentation and are expected to filter down the Suppliers.
Three years into its existence, the Vacuum Handbook „has been very well adopted,” says Liam. „Its value can be judged by the number of deviations from the original edition. As of today, we have granted only one…”
The value of the document is now recognized well beyond the ITER and fusion world. „Non-fusion industries have asked us for copies. And of course, we’re happy to give them.”
„The Handbook”, says Liam, „recapitulates all our knowledge and know-how into one coherent document. All in all, this amounts to about one hundred years of experience.”
At the coming 27th Symposium on Fusion Technology (SOFT) in Liège, (Belgium) two satellite meetings on the Vacuum Handbook will be held — an opportunity to „explain the rationale behind the requirements, provide some training and reach, beyond ITER and the ITER Domestic Agencies, the wider fusion community as well as industrialists.”
Finalizing a Procurement Arrangement（PA）signature and, at the same time, organizing Preliminary Design Reviews (PDR) for two major systems is a very demanding task that the Chinese Domestic Agency and ITER Electrical Engineering Division performed between April and July 2012.
Assembly of documentation for the materials of the Procurement Arrangement for the Pulsed Power Electrical Network (PPEN) worth 21.9 kIUA, was finalised between January and June 2012 and signed at the last ITER Council in Washington DC.
During that same period, the Preliminary Design Reviews for two other major power supply Procurement Arrangement had to be organized, these took place last week in Beijing for the Poloidal Field AC/DC Power Converters worth 61.1 kIUA and the for Reactive Power Compensators & Harmonic Filtering System worth 16.5 kIUA.
It should be noted that for the Chinese Domestic Agency these three PAs together exceed 35% of its total in kind contribution to ITER.
Read more about the electrifying months at China Domestic Agency and ITER Electrical Engineering Division here
|The Indian Domestic Agency has signed two contracts for the development of the Radio Frequency (RF) sources forming part of ITER’s Ion Cyclotron Heating and Current Drive (IC H&CD) system. The contracts were signed with the American company Continental Electronics Corporation and with Thales Electron Devices, France.
The IC H&CD system is one of the major tools for achieving the plasma performances foreseen in ITER’s operation scenarios. This system is designed to provide 20 MW into the plasma, at frequencies included in the band 40 MHz to 55 MHz. ITER India is in charge of the procurement of the RF sources subsystem and the corresponding Procurement Arrangement was signed in February 2010. A total of nine RF sources will be provided: eight sources used for plasma operation, plus one spare.
For ensuring 20 MW power availability for plasma operation, 24 MW is required at the output of the transmitter at frequencies up to 65 MHz. As there is no unique amplifier chain able to meet the output power specifications, the layout consists of two parallel four-stage amplifier chains, with a combiner circuit on the output side. This configuration is used in ASDEX upgrade ICRF facilities since 1998.
Each amplifier chain is made of a wide band solid state amplifier cascaded to a three tube based tuned amplifier: a pre-driver, followed by a driver stage and a final stage. But, even in this configuration, the final stage tubes have to achieve challenging power levels.
Only two suppliers worldwide are able to reach the target. In order to identify the best and most reliable technology for building this amplifier chain, R&D contracts were signed with both companies. Results are expected by the end of next year followed by the Preliminary Design Review.