Rosatom prepares panel of the first wall of the ITER for serial production

12 January 2024

Specialists at Russia’s DV Efremov Institute of Electrophysical Apparatus (NIIEFA, part of Rosatom) in St Petersburg have completed acceptance tests of the full-scale prototype panel for the first wall of the vacuum chamber of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor ITER under construction at Cadarache in France. The last stage was measurement of the geometric parameters of the prototype after the tests.

The supply agreement, signed with the ITER Organisation is for the manufacture and supply of 179 panels. To verify the designs and their manufacturing technologies ready for start of serial production, a phased approach was taken from experiments on small samples to the manufacture and testing of a full-scale prototype. “The next step will be to obtain permission to start mass production, this will require the preparation and approval of a large volume of documents,” said Deputy General Director for Thermonuclear and Magnetic Technologies at NIIEFA, Rustam Enikeev.

According to NIIEFA, the panels of the first wall of the reactor are among the most important and technically complex components of ITER. Together with the diverter, they are in direct contact with the hot plasma. Each panel consists of 40 “fingers”. Each is a complex multi-layered construction of 16mm by 16mm beryllium cubes soldered onto copper-chromium-zirconium alloy, which is bonded to the steel base by diffusion welding. Each panel, weighing around 800kg, measures about two metres by 1.5 metres by 0.5 metres. The panels have different shapes. NIIEFA’s specialists have developed 40 different designs.

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