Despite conflict Russia sends France giant magnet for nuclear fusion project

The nine-metre-wide coil weighs 200 tonnes and has been tightly wrapped to withstand a two-week trip to Marseille, southern Fran
The nine-meter-wide coil weighs 200 tons and has been tightly wrapped to withstand a two-week trip to Marseille, southern France.

Russia on Tuesday dispatched one of six giant magnets needed for the ITER nuclear fusion program in France, one of the last international scientific projects Moscow participates in despite the Ukraine conflict.

The ship carrying the Russian-made magnet—or "poloidal field coil"—departed Saint Petersburg on Tuesday under gray skies.

On board, the massive nine-meter-wide coil, which weighs 200 metric tons had been tightly wrapped to withstand a two-week trip to Marseille, southern France.

The ring-shaped magnet built under Russian atomic agency Rosatom's supervision will make up the top part of the world's largest "tokamak".

The tokamak is a magnetic fusion device built in France following the same principle that powers our sun and stars.

The Russian piece was meant to leave in May but sanctions forbidding Russian ships docking in Europe delayed the departure.

Still, the "current situation did not change the fact that we will fullfil our obligations", Rosatom representative for international projects Viacheslav Perchukov said.

Geopolitical tensions "practically did not affect the realization of this project", Perchukov said.

"Without (the Russian coil), the will not work," senior ITER center scientist Leonid Khimchenko told AFP.

The magnet built under Russian atomic agency Rosatom's supervision will make up the top part of the world's largest "tokama
The magnet built under Russian atomic agency Rosatom's supervision will make up the top part of the world's largest "tokamak" -- a fusion device built in France on the same principle that powers our sun.

He hailed a "unique" achievement, over eight years in the making.

In southern France, 35 nations are collaborating to build the largest nuclear fusion device in the world.

"This is such an interesting project that in fact we are all one family... there is no competition between us, nothing," Khimchenko said.

The was set in motion after a 1985 summit between US President Ronald Reagan and Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Andrey Mednikov, a scientist in charge of the production of the poloidal field coil, praised the continuing international cooperation.

"If this cooperation was brought to a halt," Mednikov said, "everyone would lose: both Russia and the international community."

© 2022 AFP

Citation: Despite conflict Russia sends France giant magnet for nuclear fusion project (2022, November 1) retrieved 8 February 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2022-11-conflict-russia-france-giant-magnet.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

French scientist leading nuclear fusion project dies at 72

40 shares

Feedback to editors