Monday September 7, 2015
Sep 7 - Morning (9:45-10:30 AM)
Plenary 1 - Superconductivity and Fusion: an enabling technology for the success of ITER
Location: Auditorium Lumière
Chair: Prof. H. Freyhardt, Universitaet Goettingen & ZFW GmbH Goettingen, Germany
Dr. Bernard Bigot
Director-General of ITER Organization
ITER is an essential step on the road to the demonstration of the scientific and technological feasibility of thermonuclear fusion as a sustainable source of energy for Humankind.
The ITER Tokamak is designed to achieve stable plasma discharges ranging from 500 s with a fusion power of 500 MW to steady state burns of 400MW, with an energy amplification factor (Q) of 10.
It is a test bed for critical fusion reactor technologies, such as plasma facing components and high power plasma heating sources, and should demonstrate the safety and low environmental impact of fusion power.
ITER is an unprecedented political and management challenge between 7 partners (China, Europe, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States) representing more than half the world population, who provide 90% of the components as in-kind contri- butions.
At the heart of the reactor will be one of the most sophisticated superconducting magnet systems ever built, contributed by six of the ITER partners and representing about 20% of the ITER cost. The system offers many design and manufacturing challenges, including: the total weight of advanced Nb3Sn superconducting strands required (nearly 700 tons), which has called up for an unprecedented world-wide ramp up of industrial production capa- bility from a state of a few tones/year, the coil sizes (over 300t for individual coils), which raise huge manufacturing and handling issues, the impressive stored energy (51 GJ), which requires special quench detection and protection techniques and very high voltage advanced insulation technology at 30kV, the assembly of components with dimensions up to 25m with tolerances of a few millimeters and finally a successful commissioning following the enforcement of rigorous and uniform QA/QC to nuclear safety stan- dards and procedures for all suppliers from the 6 partners involved, supported by careful performance qualification of subcomponents. Manufacturing of this system is now well advanced, with for example about 500t of Nb3Sn strand completed, and cabled into conductors ready for winding.
Series production of some of the coils is already underway and all the most critical performance tests of subcomponents have been successfully passed, giving full confidence that the system will achieve its overall performance and reliability goals.