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Fusion makes its introduction in COP24

F4E Events - vr, 30/11/2018 - 01:00
F4E Director presents “Fusion: Abundant, Safe and Sustainable Energy for the future” in key publication

Diagnostic port plugs | Remote handling confirmed

ITER - ma, 26/11/2018 - 21:28



The ITER Organization is putting a number of its planned remote handling activities to the test in a five-year collaboration* with the UK Atomic Energy Authority's RACE facility. The first implementing agreement of the collaboration has concluded successfully.

In a vast workshop in Oxfordshire, after months of fine-tuning, RACE team members successfully carried out two days of demonstrations on a mockup stand that reproduces a small part of ITER—the Hot Cell Complex assembly/disassembly zone where remote maintenance will be carried out on ITER's diagnostic port plugs.

In the presence of ITER Organization witnesses from the remote handling, diagnostics and test breeding blanket sections, the team demonstrated the vertical handling of heavy loads, including removal and insertion to tight tolerances. The goal of the trials was to confirm the compatibility of system designs with planned maintenance solutions, allowing the systems to advance to final design activities and manufacturing.

"For systems requiring remote maintenance and refurbishment it is important that remote handling requirements be taken into account early in the design phase to reduce risk of costly adaptations later," says remote handling engineer David Hamilton, who coordinates the collaboration with RACE. "All participants—ITER Remote Handling as well as ITER system owners—are fully engaged in getting the most value and benefit out of this work."

Many of ITER's diagnostics will be mounted in the port openings of the vacuum vessel, supported within "port plugs" weighing up to 48 tonnes that can be removed from the Tokamak for maintenance. The diagnostic components will be integrated into drawer-like structures—diagnostic shielding modules—each carrying two plasma-facing walls.

Once delivered to the Hot Cell Complex, the port plugs will be supported vertically while maintenance or refurbishment activities are carried out. The task at RACE focused on the insertion/removal of (mock) diagnostic shielding modules from the plug, and the insertion/removal of diagnostic first walls from the shielding modules, using a crane and manipulator arms. The stand faithfully reproduces all the "critical" parts of the operation—the size and weight of the components, for example, and all interfacing features and tolerances as detailed by ITER Organization specifications.

The demonstrations can be considered a full success.

"The trials allowed us to verify that the vertical insertion and removal operations, as planned by ITER, went smoothly, with no hang-ups or jams," confirmed Hamilton. "Useful suggestions were also made during the design, fabrication and operation of the test stand relating to the remote handling compatibility of the components and to planned procedures and tooling; these suggestions will be incorporated as we move forward."

Additional implementation agreements are underway relating to the remote maintenance of the vacuum vessel pressure suppression system; the feasibility of cutting and welding diagnostic first wall cooling pipes; the remote handling of vacuum flanges; synthetic viewing; test blanket module replacement, and—most recently—the maintenance of the first plasma diagnostic service modules.

"Seeing these trials take place at full scale and under realistic remote handling conditions gives us real confidence in the component designs and our proposed remote handling methods." says Jim Palmer, ITER's Remote Handling Section Leader. "There comes a point in any design when paper studies can only tell you so much and the only way to fully validate a remote handling process is to really try it out."

RACE also recently concluded work under a contract with the European Domestic Agency (Fusion for Energy) to test the maintenance of diagnostics inside the European diagnostic shield modules. Please see a full report here.

*According to the terms of the UKAEA-ITER Organization collaboration, RACE will test and evaluate remote handling system designs, and conduct remote handling trials of generic and specific maintenance tasks in order to demonstrate the feasibility of remote handling tasks and provide operational feedback to the system designers.

Let’s pump that gas from the ITER tokamak

F4E News - ma, 26/11/2018 - 01:00
F4E and ITER Organization sign Procurement Agreement that will deliver the cryopump systems for the torus and the cryostat.

Let’s pump that gas from the ITER tokamak

F4E News - ma, 26/11/2018 - 01:00
F4E and ITER Organization sign Procurement Agreement that will deliver the cryopump systems for the torus and the cryostat.

Europe celebrates another milestone in the area of ITER Toroidal Field coils

F4E News - wo, 21/11/2018 - 01:00
All 70 Double Pancakes have been produced.

Europe celebrates another milestone in the area of ITER Toroidal Field coils

F4E News - wo, 21/11/2018 - 01:00
All 70 Double Pancakes have been produced.

Vacuum vessel welding | Rehearsing a grand production

ITER - di, 20/11/2018 - 10:08



There is a place near Santander, Spain, where one can actually feel what ITER will be like. Although we've seen dozens of drawings and 3D animations, the encounter with a true-size mockup of the ITER vacuum vessel comes as a shock—ITER will indeed be an awesome machine.
Standing as tall as a six-storey building in a large workshop in the outskirts of the city, the massive and complex structure bears no resemblance to anything known. It could be a section of Jules Verne's Nautilus or the slice of an alien spaceship.
Although it represents only a portion of the tokamak's doughnut-shaped vacuum vessel, the mockup of two paired sectors seems to dwarf everything around it. With the exception of sector width (10 degrees versus 40 degrees) it mirrors the future reality of ITER down to the smallest detail.
On this huge stage, a one-of-a kind dress rehearsal is underway. The ITER Organization wrote the script; the Spanish company Equipos Nucleares SA (ENSA) provided the stage and the props. The main act is the story of the welding of the ITER vacuum vessel and ports—one of the longest and most complex sequences of the machine assembly phase, requiring around 200 personnel and at least four years to complete.
The ITER vacuum vessel is made of 9 sectors, each weighing around 420 tonnes and measuring 13 metres in height and 7 metres in width. On arrival at ITER, each sector will be suspended by one of the sector sub-assembly tools to be pre-assembled with two toroidal field coils and panels of vacuum vessel thermal shield. The resulting 1,200-tonne "sector module assembly" will be lowered by overhead crane into the Tokamak pit.
The pit will be a very crowded place by then, with the base and lower cylinder of the cryostat as well as two out of six poloidal field coils already in position (see an animation of the assembly sequences here).
The welding of the vacuum vessel sectors will have to be performed in a very restricted space, with tools operating from the inside the sector only. No access to the outer shell of the vacuum vessel sectors will be possible due to the thermal shield panels surrounding each sector.
These challenging in-pit welding operations are precisely what is being rehearsed on the ENSA mockup in Santander.
The mockup represents the joint between two sectors of the double-walled vacuum vessel, faithfully reproducing the 100-millimetre gap between the outer shells of two adjoining sectors and the larger inner-shell gap (160 mm) that permits a little extra leeway in the case of possible misalignment while allowing the welding tools to reach from the inside through to the outer edge of the component.
Welding filler material alone is not sufficient for filling the gaps, however. Before welding operations can commence, the spaces are closed off by 60-millimetre-thick bands of steel called "splice plates" that will be positioned, one after the other, by a special tool developed by ENSA.
Fifteen inner and 16 outer plates need to be inserted into the gaps between sectors. "We will manufacture them roughly, with extra width, thickness and length, and then reverse-engineer them by precise custom machining to the exact dimensions of the gap," explains Brian Macklin, project manager in the Tokamak Assembly Division and the original responsible officer for the ENSA contract.
Using an ultra-precise laser survey (see video here), each gap will be mapped and rendered as a 3D drawing. The data will then be fed to a high-precision tool that will machine the final plates to the exact dimension and topography of the gap. With the plates in place, the distance between the sectors will be reduced to half a millimetre.
Three large welding robots will then enter the scene, introducing welding heads into the gaps at different locations around the vessel; by operating them simultaneously, the shrinkage caused by the welding process is distributed all around the D-shaped section of the sectors.
"We have now reached the final stage of tool and procedure qualification on the mockup," explains Frantz de la Burgade, ITER group leader for sector assembly and the current responsible officer for the ENSA contract. "Half of the splice plates have been fully welded on the outer shell of the sector and the smoothing of the welds by a weld cap machining tool is ongoing. There are still a few parameters to streamline, such as assessing the importance of the weld shrinkage or detailing a few remaining interfaces with the vessel for the real work."
Amidst the din of ENSA's Special Projects' workshop, Brian Macklin, Frantz de la Burgade and Alex Martin, the ITER group leader for vacuum vessel engineering, observe, question, discuss, and take notes and measurements. Like directors on a set, they make certain that the acts are in conformity with the scripts. The dress rehearsal is now almost over; the actual production should premiere at ITER in the autumn of 2020.
Watch a video of what's happening "Inside the Big "D"."   More technical information can be found in the image gallery below.    

Contract signed for Inner Vessel Coil Mechanical Platforms

F4E News - vr, 16/11/2018 - 01:00
F4E signs a contract with Sgenia for manufacturing of platforms into which diagnostic sensors will be integrated, for installation in ITER.

Contract signed for Inner Vessel Coil Mechanical Platforms

F4E News - vr, 16/11/2018 - 01:00
F4E signs a contract with Sgenia for manufacturing of platforms into which diagnostic sensors will be integrated, for installation in ITER.

23rd ITER Council | Pace and performance on track

ITER - do, 15/11/2018 - 19:04


Working as an integrated team, the ITER Organization and seven Domestic Agencies are continuing to meet the project's demanding schedule to First Plasma in 2025. Pace and performance were confirmed this week at ITER Headquarters by senior representatives from China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the United States, who had gathered for the Twenty-Third Meeting of the ITER Council.   Every six months, the governing body of the ITER Organization meets to evaluate project progress on the basis of detailed performance metrics that track manufacturing, construction, and installation activities. The Twenty-Third Meeting of the Council, which took place on 14 and 15 November at ITER Headquarters, was no different. By reviewing the latest reports and indicators on technological and organizational performance, the Council was able to confirm that the project has completed nearly 60 percent of the work scope to First Plasma.
Since January 2016, ITER has achieved 36 scheduled Council-approved milestones, including the completion in August of the concrete crown that will receive the full weight of the machine, and the timely manufacturing and delivery of the first flux loop magnetic sensors for the ITER vacuum vessel.
Project progress is tracked against the 2016 Baseline schedule, which was endorsed by the ITER Council in November 2016 as the fastest technically achievable path to First Plasma, and the Revised Construction Strategy, which has been developed by the ITER Organization to optimize equipment installation in the Tokamak Complex Building.
Specifically, the Revised Construction Strategy brings all installation activities in the critical Tokamak Complex area under the coordination of the ITER Organization, including building services falling under the scope of the European Domestic Agency's TB04 contract for mechanical and electrical installation works.
Instead of planning sequential installation activities in the Tokamak Complex—first TB04 building services, and then the installation of machine components and systems by ITER Organization contractors—the transfer of TB04 installation activities to the ITER Organization through the partial novation of the contract allows significant time to be saved by facilitating early access for ITER contractors and allowing the most efficient integrated assembly sequences to be developed to avoid clashes, dismantling and/or rework.
"I confirm to you that critical transitions lie ahead for the ITER Project--as we move from design, engineering and manufacturing to assembly and installation," said the ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot in his opening remarks to the 23rd ITER Council. "All the large components of the Tokamak will be arriving on site within the three next years, 2019-2021, and in parallel we will be carrying out the first steps to commission and prepare for operation. We believe that we have found the best way to adjust our overall organization to face the challenges of this transition."
The first machine component—part of the magnet feeder for poloidal field coil #4—will be installed in the Tokamak Pit next week.
Read the full press release in English or French.

22nd ITER Council | Project on track for First Plasma in 2025

ITER - do, 15/11/2018 - 14:26


The ITER Council, ITER's governing body, met for the twenty-second time on 20 and 21 June 2018 at the ITER Organization in Saint Paul-lez-Durance, France. Council Members approved refinements to the construction strategy which will optimize the installation of components in the Tokamak Complex. With this strategy in place, the project is on track to achieve First Plasma in 2025 while adhering to overall project costs.
Representatives from China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States gathered in the fifth floor Council Chamber for a two-day review of the most recent reports on organizational and technical performance. They agreed that the project continues to sustain its strong performance and fast pace. Since January 2016, ITER has achieved 33 scheduled project milestones, including the recent commissioning of the first experiment of the ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility in Padua, Italy. 
The Council stated that significant progress has also been made on the manufacturing of technologically challenging components such as the vacuum vessel and the toroidal field magnets. They also highlighted progress in the installation of the cryoplant and in the build-up of the magnet power supply and conversion system. Based on their review of the latest performance metrics, Council Members confirmed that project execution towards First Plasma is now over 55 percent complete.
The Council acknowledged the efforts undertaken by each Member to reach approval of the overall project cost through their respective government budget processes. Having completed their internal consultation procedures, China, Europe, Japan, Korea and Russia are ready to approve the 2016 Baseline.
Expressing their resolve to work together to find timely solutions to facilitate ITER's success, Council Members reaffirmed their strong belief in the value of the ITER Project to develop fusion science and technology.
Download the full press release in English and French.

Preparations underway to give electrical power to MITICA

F4E News - wo, 14/11/2018 - 01:00
F4E has installed most of the equipment that will connect the second experiment of the ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility to the grid.

Preparations underway to give electrical power to MITICA

F4E News - wo, 14/11/2018 - 01:00
F4E has installed most of the equipment that will connect the second experiment of the ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility to the grid.

Fusion Doctors | ITER hosts the future

ITER - ma, 12/11/2018 - 17:35

For three days last week, the ITER building was brimming with energy, inspiration and enthusiasm. One hundred and thirty-five young fusion aficionados took over the ground floor to exchange with one another and with ITER experts about their common passion: the realization of fusion energy.
For the sixth time, PhD students specializing in fusion energy got together under the umbrella of FuseNet, the association that coordinates European fusion education activities. This year, the event was hosted with the support of the ITER Organization and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).
"This great challenge of fusion is what we need you for," said Roger Jaspers of the Eindhoven University of Technology, and the FuseNet program leader, at the outset of the three-day meeting. He advised the students to take full advantage of the gathering—to form networks ("Maybe the future director of DEMO is sitting next to you now!"), broaden their horizons, and see with their own eyes all around that fusion is becoming a reality.
A jam-packed program offered the students insights into some of the more challenging aspects of ITER: plasma-wall interactions, plasma disruptions, the use of beryllium, and tritium breeding. Students also heard about the challenges of the ITER Research Plan and learned about recent developments at Wendelstein 7-X and WEST.
For ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot—a former educator—it was a special treat to stand in front of a big crowd of young scientists and engineers "who have decided to dedicate their career to the quest for fusion energy." Telling the students about recent progress, Bigot said the ITER Project had met the 58 percent completion mark (to First Plasma) in September. "The second half will be very challenging and we will not enjoy the benefit of overtime."
Nearly every speaker referred to the tremendous task the 135 young fusion specialists will face in their professional lives to make fusion energy a reality. For co-organizer Roddy Vann of York University, the added value of the FuseNet event is that the students meeting today will be the people running the ITER control room in 20 years. Guido Lange, co-organizer and researcher from Eindhoven University of Technology, picked up on this theme in his remarks about socio-economic aspects of a future fusion industry. "Breakthroughs to make future fusion devices cheap, fast and tailored need to come out of your hands," he said.
The students did not just soak up information; they also shared their own work either as a poster presentation or in the challenging format of a Pecha Kucha talk.
It seems that some of the students are already contributing to the ITER Project: during the quieter intervals, quite a few ITER experts could be seen studying the posters.
Scroll through the gallery below for impressions from the event.

Remote Handling design for ITER Diagnostics port plugs successfully validated

F4E News - do, 08/11/2018 - 01:00
Tests have shown that F4E's Diagnostic Shielding Module is well-optimised for remote handling maintenance of port-based diagnostics.

Remote Handling design for ITER Diagnostics port plugs successfully validated

F4E News - do, 08/11/2018 - 01:00
Tests have shown that F4E's Diagnostic Shielding Module is well-optimised for remote handling maintenance of port-based diagnostics.

ITER In-Vessel component ready to take the heat

F4E News - wo, 07/11/2018 - 01:00
Europe and Russia start testing F4E’s first full-scale prototype of the Inner-Vertical Target.

ITER In-Vessel component ready to take the heat

F4E News - wo, 07/11/2018 - 01:00
Europe and Russia start testing F4E’s first full-scale prototype of the Inner-Vertical Target.

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