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Media Corner
01 December 2016

Four more tanks for ITER’s Water Detritiation System

Aerial view of the ITER Tokamak complex consisting of the Tritium plant, the Tokamak and Diagnostics buildings. Cadarache, October 2016.

F4E has signed a contract with Equipos Nucleares, SA (Ensa) to design, manufacture and deliver four additional tanks for ITER’s Water Detritiation System. The value of the contract is the range of 1 M EUR and the works are expected to last approximately two years. Two tanks measuring 7 m3, known as “holding tanks”, will be used to store water. The additional two tanks, measuring 12 m3, known as “feeding tanks”, will be used to feed the fuel cycle system with tritiated water. All four tanks will be installed next to the six water detritiation tanks, also manufactured by Ensa, which have been on-site since March 2015, claiming the title of Europe’s first-ever components delivered to ITER.

Why do we need a water detritiation system in ITER’s Tritium plant? To get fusion going we will need to crash nuclei of deuterium and tritium at extremely high temperatures. The two hydrogen isotopes will be supplied through the Tritium plant. When the two isotopes reach the core of the machine they will fuse to release energy. What is left from the fuel of the fusion reaction, together with other gases, will return through pumps to the ITER Tritium plant in order to recover the tritium and use it in a future reaction.

The company located in Cantabria has been awarded this contract following a procurement procedure launched by F4E. “The contract awarded to Ensa builds on its expertise in this domain and its successful track record in meeting the stringent quality requirements of ITER. We will work as one team and offer guidance where and when needed” explains Josep Benet, F4E’s Technical Officer.