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Central Components for the World's Largest Fusion Experiment Complete

Power News - Published on Wed, 20 May 2020

Image Source: MAN Energy Solutions
MAN Energy Solutions has successfully assembled two further core components for the world's largest fusion experiment ITER in Cadarache in southern France. In addition to the already-completed Lower Cylinder', the new components, Base Section and Upper Cylinder, are central to the construction of the cryostat, the largest stainless steel, high vacuum chamber ever built, which will form the exterior of the fusion reactor. When fully assembled, the cryostat will be 30 meter tall with a volume of 16,000 cubic meters. With the Base Section and Upper Cylinder completed, the construction of the fourth and final component of the cryostat now begin with MAN Energy Solutions once again responsible for assembly and welding work. Assembly of the four individual sections is scheduled for late-summer 2020.

A total of 35 nations are working on the ITER project to build the world's largest tokamak: a fusion reactor operating on the principle of magnetic confinement. The facility is intended to demonstrate that nuclear fusion can be a realistic and CO2-free energy source of the future. The heart of the tokamak (acronym of the Russian translation: "Ring chamber with magnetic coils“) is a vacuum vessel in which the atomic nuclei of hydrogen isotopes – deuterium and tritium – fuse into helium. The enormous heat generated by this process will be used to generate energy and mimics the principle by which the sun and other stars function. One gram of fusion plasma contains the energy of approximately twelve tons of coal. Ultimately, ITER will operate with just three grams of fusion plasma and generate 500 MW of thermal power.

The cryostat forms the envelope of the ITER machine and provides the ultracold, vacuous environment necessary for the superconducting coils and vacuum vessel to work. In total, the cryostat consists of 54 individual elements produced by Indian company, Larsen & Toubro, and are assembled on the construction site by MAN Energy Solutions. “It is a special honour for us to be involved in the most ambitious energy project in the world. We are helping to bring the source of solar enery to earth and thus generate CO2-free energy in huge quantities. This project unites the world community and has the potential to revolutionize energy production,” added Anger.

Construction work on the site of the ITER project began in 2012, with the construction of the reactor house starting two years later. The assembly of the ITER machine in the reactor building will begin in late-summer 2020. With the assembly of the cyrostat, MAN Energy Solution is involved on a core component. According to current plans, the fusion reactor will generate the first plasma in 2025, with the full experiment scheduled to begin in 2035.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Wed, 20 May 2020
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