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Media Corner
26 October 2015

First tooling for magnets manufacturing on its way to ITER

The Poloidal Field coils winding tooling table, SEA ALP workshop, Turin (Italy).

The ITER site is going to become a manufacturing site now that the first equipment for the manufacturing of some of the most powerful magnets is heading to the Poloidal Field coils facility in Cadarache. For some months now the PF coils building has been going through a transformation. The erection of the clean areas, where the coils will be manufactured, along with the building of the new office space and the fitting out of the building maintenance works have been perceived as a wind of change.

Today, the first pieces of tooling of the conductor winding table and the associated auxiliary equipment have left the SEA ALP workshop in Turin and it is expected that all the pieces will be delivered and fully assembled by the middle of December. This is a new chapter for the facility where all the steps of coil manufacturing- winding, impregnation, stacking and cold testing- will be carried out.

The equipment has been produced under the contract signed between F4E and the SEA ALP Engineering Consortium responsible for the detailed design, manufacturing, installation onsite and commissioning onsite of the tooling needed for the winding of the PF coils. The contract, whose value is in the range of 14 million EUR, will run for approximately six years, during which time the consortium will also train personnel, maintain the equipment and decommission when all winding is completed. Gian Battista Fachin, F4E responsible for the winding tooling, explains that “This is an important milestone which comes after serious negotiations and extremely good collaboration with our contractors and other ITER parties. Moreover, the developed engineering process will be brand new. It is the first time ever that the “two in hand” technique will be used for the winding and wrapping of such a large conductor. Two in hand" means working with two conductors winding them together in a concentric spiral and eventually connecting them at the end to form a Double Pancake coil.

ITER will have six PF coils that together create a magnetic cage to maintain the plasma’s shape and stability. Due to their impressive diameter and weight, four out of the six coils will be manufactured in the PF coils building facility on the ITER site. Europe is responsible for five out of the six PF coils and the fifth of its coil is being manufactured through a collaboration agreement between F4E and the ASIPP laboratory in Hefei, China. To give you an impression of their size and weight, the diameter of the largest PF coil is around 25 metres and the weight of the coils varies between 200 and 400 tonnes. All five European coils will be cold tested in the PF coils’ facility whilst for the sixth coil, manufactured by Russia, it is currently being considered if it will also be tested in the facility.

The construction of the PF coils building has been financed by F4E through a contract signed with the consortium of Spie batignolles, Omega Concept and Setec. The building is approximately 250 metres long, 45 metres wide and 17 metres high. It includes regular services (HVAC, electrical, piping), two large cranes (one standard crane with a capacity of 25 tonnes and another crane especially adapted with a capacity of 40 tonnes), offices, technical rooms and workshop space.

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