Semi-prototype of the Blanket First Wall

Toshiba Corporation has been commissioned by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) to manufacture four toroidal field coils for the ITER fusion reactor, under construction in Cadarache, France. In other ITER news, Europe has completed manufacture of a semi-prototype of the Blanket First Wall (left).

Keihin Product Operations and Toshiba IHI Power Systems Corporation are due to begin manufacturing the toroidal field coils at the end of May 2014, and delivery is expected to start in 2017, Toshiba says.

The scope of the contract also includes the manufacture of six containers to hold the coils.

ITER will have a total of 18 toroidal field coils, which will be used to produce strong magnetic fields that confine the high-temperature plasma. The European Domestic Agency, Fusion for Energy, is responsible for procuring ten toroidal field coils, and JAEA is responsible for procuring nine.

Blanket First Wall prototype completed

In other ITER news, F4E has announced that a semi-prototype of the Blanket First Wall has recently been completed by French company AREVA. The prototype is about 1/6 of the size of the first wall panels that will be used in ITER.

The panels are made up of beryllium tiles which are bonded with a copper alloy and 316L (N) stainless steel using Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP). The wall itself will consist of 440 panels, which protect the vacuum vessel from the neutrons and other energetic particles that are produced by the hot plasma.

"With the manufacturing of the semi-prototype now completed, the next step will be its high heat flux testing"

With the manufacturing of the semi-prototype now completed, the next step will be its high heat flux testing. Testing is due to be carried out at the German research centre Forschungszentrum Jülich, and expected completed this summer, F4E says.

The Normal Heat Flux panels (which will be provided by F4E) are designed to withstand heat fluxes of up to 2 MW per m², whereas Enhanced Heat Flux panels (to be provided by the Chinese and Russian Domestic Agencies) can withstand heat fluxes up to 4.6 MW per m². Testing will involve subjecting the surface of the semi-prototype to an electron beam capable of applying the same heat flux the First Wall panels will endure in the ITER machine, resulting in the panels having a beryllium surface temperature of around 400°C during testing.

F4E says completion of the semi-prototype moves F4E a step closer to obtaining qualification by ITER IO for the manufacturing of the actual Blanket First Wall. The Procurement Arrangement for the actual First Wall Panels to be used in the ITER machine is scheduled to be signed in early 2015.

Caroline Peachey

Photo: The semi-prototype of the Blanket First Wall was completed by AREVA in roughly two years (Credit: Fusion for Energy)