Reinforcing the partnership with the Russian ITER Domestic Agency
On 12 June F4E’s Director, Johannes Schwemmer, visited
the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics (BINP) near Novosibirsk accompanied by the
Head of Russia’s ITER Domestic Agency, Anatoly Krasilnikov. BINP is making some
key ITER components including the “port plugs” which house diagnostic systems
to measure ITER’s performance. The visit also provided an opportunity to see the
negative ion-based neutral beam plasma heating system under development.
Institute of Nuclear Physics (BINP) located near Novosibirsk is the largest
institute in the Russian Academy of Sciences and a world-renowned centre of excellence
for particle and plasma physics. Around 2700 staff work at BINP of which some
900 are scientists or engineers. One of the unique aspects of the BINP is that
it possesses its own 60,000m2 workshop allowing scientists to
develop and manufacture products from scratch.
BINP is involved
in several aspects of work related to fusion. In terms of basic fusion
research, BINP has its own research programme into alternative devices to the
tokamak known as mirror traps. On the applied side, BINP has developed and
manufactured around 20 neutral and ion beam systems to heat plasmas in many
existing experiments. Finally yet importantly, BINP works with the Russian ITER
Domestic Agency to fabricate components for ITER.
BINP Director, Academician
Pavel V. Logatchov, welcomed Johannes Schwemmer and Anatoly Krasilnikov and
showed them, amongst other things, a recently fabricated full-size mock-up of a
key component of the ITER’s equatorial port-plug – the Diagnostic Shield Module
as shown below.
Inspecting the full-size mock-up of the
Diagnostic Module recently fabricated at BINP (left to right: Aleksandr
Burdakov (BINP Deputy Director), Anatoly Krasilnikov (Russian DA Head) and
As their name
suggests, the “port plugs” plug the openings in ITER’s vacuum vessel and act as
containers for a variety of diagnostic systems, protecting them from the
high-energy neutrons and heat generated by the fusion plasma. BINP is working
on both upper and equatorial port plugs (up to 6 x 1.5 x 1.5 metres in size and
weighing up to 45 tons). A challenging aspect of the diagnostic shield modules
developed by BINP has been to drill holes of 2m length through the special
stainless steel with an accuracy of better than 1 mm.
The visit to
BINP also provided the opportunity for F4E’s Director to have a tour of the
test stand for a negative ion-based neutral injection plasma heating system
under development in collaboration with Tri Alpha Energy Inc. in the United
States. A similar system, albeit based on a different technical concept, is
under development by F4E and other international partners at ITER’s Neutral
Beam Test Facility in Padua, Italy.
Visiting the test stand for a negative
ion-based neutral injection plasma heating system under development at BINP
(left to right: Aleksandr Burdakov (BINP Deputy Director), Yuri Belchenko (BINP
Senior Scientist), Johannes Schwemmer and Pavel Logatchov (BINP Director)).
visit concluded with fruitful discussions on possible areas of future collaboration
for ITER. Johannes Schwemmer expressed his deep appreciation for the warm
reception in Novosibirsk that had been provided by Academician Logatchov, Drs
Krasilnikov, Burdakov and Ivantsivskiy among others.