First European parts delivered to Iter

06 May 2015

The first European-supplied components have been delivered to the construction site of the Iter project at Cadarache in southern France. The large tanks were produced in Spain and will be part of the fusion reactor's water detritiation system.

First European ITER delivery - 460 (F4E)
Two of the tanks arrive by truck at Cadarache (Image: F4E)

Iter's European domestic agency, Fusion for Energy (F4E) awarded a contract worth some €2 million ($2.2 million) to Spain's Equipos Nucleares SA (Ensa) in 2013 for the design and manufacture six large-sized tanks.

The purpose of these tanks will be to collect water containing tritium in order to recover it and subsequently use it in future fusion reactions. Four tanks - each with capacities of 20 cubic meters and weighing some 5 tonnes - will be part of this system, while two larger tanks - each with capacities of 100 cubic meters and weighing about 20 tonnes - will be used for the tritium recovery phase in exceptional circumstances.

The four smaller tanks plus one of the two larger ones have now been delivered to the Iter construction site. The tanks will be stored on-site and installed when the tritium building is complete, F4E said.

F4E acting director Pietro Barabaschi said, "The arrival of this equipment marks the beginning of a long list of components that we, as Europeans, have the duty to manufacture and deliver to ITER, the biggest fusion energy project."

The Iter project is meant to take nuclear fusion research to a new level with the largest ever Tokamak unit, which should be capable of sustaining plasmas that produce 500 MWt for as long as seven minutes. The EU is funding half of the cost while the remainder comes in equal parts from six other partners: China, Japan, India, Russia, South Korea and the USA. The facility is expected to reach full operation in 2027.

So far, Europe has signed more than 400 contracts related to the Iter project totalling some €3 billion ($3.4 billion) with more than 250 companies and 50 laboratories.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News