The ITER Organization and Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have signed a three-year service contract that guarantees the availability of the SULTAN facility for the performance testing of ITER conductors.
SULTAN, which was originally built in the 1980s to test high field conductors for the NEXT European Tokamak project, is located at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). It was modified as a conductor test facility before the start of the ITER engineering design activities in 1993 and since then has been used to test many conductors, including those for the ITER model coils.
SULTAN is the only facility worldwide capable of testing the niobium-tin (Nb3Sn) and niobium-titanium (NbTi) conductors that will be used in ITER. Within the facility, conductor samples are exposed to magnetic fields, current intensity and temperature conditions that are equivalent to those of the ITER operational environment.
The ITER Domestic Agencies involved in conductor procurement (China, the Republic of Korea, EU, Japan, Russian Federation, USA) submitted samples to SULTAN for testing from 2007.
The new contract, which enters into force on 1 May 2012, makes the ITER Organization the primary user of the SULTAN facility.