Japan’s Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions (Toshiba ESS) announced on 8 June that it had manufactured the first of four toroidal field coils for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter) under construction in Saint-Paul-lès-Durance in southern France. Under a contract concluded in May 2014 with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Toshiba ESS is manufacturing four toroidal field coils, and six coil cases. The first coil case was completed in December 2018. Toshiba said the coil is one of the largest in the world - 16.5 metres in height, 9 metres in width, with a gross weight of approximately 300 tons. The toroidal field coils are huge superconducting magnets, that will generate the magnetic cage to contain the ITER fusion reactor's plasma. The reactor is scheduled to achieve first plasma in 2025.
Nine of ITER's 18 toroidal field coils, and a spare, are being fabricated in Europe and the other nine in Japan – four by Toshiba and five plus one spare by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI), all ordered by the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (QST) for JAEA. In May, MHI said it had completed manufacture of four. MHI completed the world’s first TF coil for Iter in January 2020.
The European fabrication of the toroidal field coils is the result of a collaboration between the Iter Organisation's European domestic agency Fusion for Energy with ASG Superconductors, Iberdrola Ingeniería y Construcción, Elytt Energy, CNIM, SIMIC and the ICAS consortium. The manufacture of the first toroidal field coil in Europe was completed in May 2017.
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 appears that an additional 300 MWe of electricity input may be required in operation. No electricity will be generated at ITER.