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Media Corner
19 March 2018

Important manufacturing milestone for ITER’s sixth Poloidal Field coil

Double Pancake 7 after having completed Vacuum Pressure Impregnation at ASIPP, The Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Hefei, China.

Six massive magnets will embrace the ITER machine from top to bottom to control the shape and stability of its plasma. Europe is responsible for five out of the six Poloidal Field (PF) coils, one of them being manufactured in China. In line with the spirit of the ITER project, the biggest international collaboration in the field of energy, F4E and ASIPP, The Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Hefei, have signed an agreement to manufacture this coil together in order to mutually benefit from their expertise and deliver the component faster.

 

A team made of 80 engineers and technicians has been working hard to deliver the first PF coil and the result of this collaboration has been extremely successful. Day by day the smallest of the PF coils is taking shape and is advancing. And when we mean small its weight is approximately 400 t and it has a diameter of 10 m. This coil is made of nine double layers of superconductor which need to be wound, known as Double Pancakes (DPs). Half of the DPs have already been completed. Basically, six of them have already been wound and the seventh one is currently in progress. Electrical joints, which will allow helium and current to flow in the magnet, have been fabricated for five out of the six DPs, one is in the making and three more to be produced in the coming months.

Preparing the mould for Vacuum Pressure Impregnation at ASIPP, The Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Hefei, China
Completing Double Pancake 5 at ASIPP, The Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Hefei, China

The next manufacturing step consists of impregnating the DPs with resin in order to electrically insulate them. Four out of nine have already been successfully impregnated. It is expected that by September this stage will be completed for all nine of the DPs paving their way for stacking, where they will be placed one on top of each other to be collectively electrically and hydraulically connected. Then, the whole component, known as a winding pack in the ITER jargon, will be ground insulated, impregnated and then the final assembly will take place before being shipped to the ITER site in France.

Impregnating Double Pancake 6 at ASIPP, The Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Hefei, China.
Lifting Double Pancake 7 to move it to another station at ASIPP, The Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Hefei, China.

To celebrate this manufacturing milestone all members of the team working together for this achievement took part in a group photo. They wanted to capture this moment of collaboration and look back at it as a precious gift as they were heading towards the Chinese New Year festivities. For all them it is a symbol of mutual learning and partnership between Europe and China. And on the human side, it is a souvenir of a big team that will gradually shrink in size as manufacturing steps are being completed.

Members of Fusion for Energy and ASIPP, The Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Hefei, China, taking part in a group photo to celebrate the technical milestone they have achieved.

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