Rosatom prepares equipment for ITER

19 March 2024

In early April, the first shipment of equipment in 2024 for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), which is being built in France, will take place from Russia’s DV Efremov Institute of Electrophysical Apparatus (NIIEFA, part of Rosatom). The equipment was developed and manufactured at NIIEFA in St Petersburg by order of Rosatom, within the framework of the International ITER project.

This will be the first delivery of equipment this year and the 32nd shipment overall. It will comprise 33.5 tonnes of equipment in six trailers. The supply will include a batch of high-precision busbars, as well as switching device complexes for the power supply system for the poloidal field coils and the central solenoid, including damping devices for the fast energy output system.

Busbars are intended for use in DC busbar systems that connect the superconducting windings of the tokamak electromagnetic system with their power sources. Switching devices are capable of withstanding high currents for a long time (up to 70 kA) and turning them off at voltages up to 10 kV. In accordance with the equipment supply agreement signed in 2011, NIIEFA must manufacture and supply to the ITER Organization about 5.4 km of busbars with a total weight of more than 500 tonnes and 33 km of cables. To date, more than 50% of the total quantity has already been sent to France.

The manufacture and supply of switching equipment, conductors and energy-absorbing resistors for power supply and protection of the superconducting magnetic system of the ITER reactor is the most expensive and one of the most complex of the 25 systems falling under Russia's responsibility. The area of ??responsibility of NIIEFA includes the development and production of a superconducting coil of the poloidal field, current switching and energy output devices, power circuits, upper branch pipes of the vacuum chamber, central diverter assemblies and part of the panels of the first wall, as well as testing of divertor elements manufactured in other countries. The timely delivery of these components to the site is critical to keeping the project on schedule.

ITER is a first-of-a-kind global collaboration with construction funded mainly by the European Union (45.6%) with the remainder shared equally by China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the USA (9.1% each). However, in practice, the members deliver little monetary contribution to the project, instead providing ‘in-kind’ contributions of components, systems or buildings. The goal of ITER is to operate at 500 MW (for at least 400 seconds continuously) with 50 MW of plasma heating power input. It is not intended to generate electricity.

The organisation responsible for fulfilling the obligations of Russia in the ITER project is the State Corporation « Rosatom ». The work is coordinated by a Rosatom Private Institution, the ITER Project Centre based in Moscow. The responsibility of the Russian Federation includes the manufacture and supply of 25 complex high-tech systems for future installation.

Image courtesy of Rosatom

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