ITER has arrival

June 5, 2013, ITER
ITER's magnet system.

On Monday 3 June the first ITER load made its way from the docks in Fos-sur-Mer, near Marseille, to the ITER construction site. Its precious cargo: 14.5 tons of copper conductor manufactured in China. The 737-metre copper "dummy" will serve to qualify the tooling and manufacturing processes of ITER's large and powerful poloidal field magnets. "This is only a small load," said the head of ITER's Magnet Division Neil Mitchell, "but we expect that it is the start of an avalanche of deliveries to the ITER site now that the production around the world is building up."

After 31 days on the sea, the freighter Lyra safely moored at the docks in Fos-sur Mer late Friday, 31 May. Precisely one month before, she had left Shanghai, China, with three large wooden boxes on board containing 737 metres of spooled copper conductor divided into three pieces. On Monday 3 June, the cargo passed customs and accomplished the final leg of its journey to be delivered at the ITER worksite, where it is now stored to await the deployment of the copper conductor during tests in the on-site winding facility for ITER's large poloidal field coils.

ITER's poloidal field magnets.

The lengths of dummy conductor were produced by the Institute of (ASIPP) in Hefei. According to the Procurement Arrangement signed between the Chinese Domestic Agency and the ITER Organization, China will fabricate 64 for ITER's poloidal field coils, including four dummy conductors. Russia and Europe will also contribute to poloidal field conductor procurement, which represents 1,224 tons of superconducting wire alone.

The poloidal field conductors for ITER will be made out of niobium-titanium (NbTi), an alloy that is too precious to be used for testing purposes. The dummy conductor delivered this week is composed of copper strands inserted into a stainless steel jacket (AISI 316LN). It will be used for validating the fabrication process of poloidalfield coil number 5 (PF5).

Unloading the precious goods in Fos-sur-Mer.
"Each poloidal field coil is manufactured in a process that begins with the conductor spools that will be delivered on site," explains Piergiorgio Aprili from the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy: "First, a so-called double pancake is wound.

This is then vacuum-impregnated, stacked to form coils (which are also vacuum impregnated), and finally the completed coils are clamped and covered. Once the qualification of the process and of the tooling is successfully completed, the production of the real poloidal field coils can start."

Explore further: Robustness of ITER's solenoid conductor confirmed

Related Stories

Robustness of ITER's solenoid conductor confirmed

February 5, 2013

(—After an intensive effort to improve the capability of ITER's central solenoid conductor, the ITER Organization has concluded that a technically reliable and economically viable solution has been found. This ...

US toroidal field conductor fabrication advances

February 19, 2013

US ITER and its vendors are moving into a new fabrication phase for the toroidal field magnet system in the international ITER fusion reactor. Cabling and conductor fabrication are now underway in New Hampshire and Florida ...

ITER blanket technology approved

April 25, 2013

( —The design of the ITER blanket system, a crucial technology on the way to fusion power, has been approved and is now ready to proceed to the manufacturing stage. "The development and validation of the final ...

F4E starts connecting the ITER systems together

April 25, 2013

Those who perceive challenges as opportunities will find themselves drawn to the levels of sophistication and complexity underpinning the ITER project. Connecting the different systems of ITER and ensuring their smooth operation ...

New jet results tick all the boxes for ITER

October 8, 2012

Latest results from the Joint European Torus (JET) fusion device are giving researchers increasing confidence in prospects for the next-generation ITER project, the international experiment that is expected to pave the way ...

Recommended for you

When electric fields make spins swirl

November 14, 2018

We are reaching the limits of silicon capabilities in terms of data storage density and speed of memory devices. One of the potential next-generation data storage elements is the magnetic skyrmion. A team at the Center for ...

Structure of fossil-fuel source rocks is finally decoded

November 13, 2018

The fossil fuels that provide much of the world's energy orginate in a type of rock known as kerogen, and the potential for recovering these fuels depends crucially on the size and connectedness of the rocks' internal pore ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.