When ITER is operational the
gases resulting from the fusion reaction will be pumped with the help of six
cryopumps from the lower part of the torus to the roughing system, and two from
the cryostat of the machine. The cryopumps, which measure 3.4 x 1.8 m and weigh
about 7.8 t will be identical for both systems. In essence, they will pump
gases by absorption on charcoal coated cryopanels at 4.5 K and subsequently
will treat them in a closed circuit as part of the fuel cycle.
Following the successful manufacturing
of the first
cryopump, a final design review of the equipment took place in March 2018.
In parallel, F4E launched a market survey inviting Europe’s industry to declare
its expertise and express its interest in the manufacturing of the components.
Today engineers are ready to go ahead with the production of the eight
cryopumps. A call for tender will be launched soon and the equipment is
expected to be ready by 2023.
Francina Canadell Navarro, F4E
Technical Officer following this contract, explains that “one of the most challenging
aspects we will face is timing because our schedule is very tight. On the other
hand, the production of the cryopumps offers a great learning opportunity to
those working in the field of cryogenics to become familiar with the strict set
of rules applying to a nuclear environment, with which ITER needs to comply.
Last but not least, due to the multiple technologies required for the fabrication
of the cryopumps, such as hydroforming, charcoal coating, etc., there is scope
for collaboration between many companies.”
A Procurement Agreement (PA) has
been signed between F4E and ITER Organization (IO), according to which Europe
will have to deliver six cryopumps for the torus of the ITER device, two for the
cryostat, and their respective auxiliary systems. The PA foresees a number of
tasks for both parties, among which, Europe with its suppliers will have to
manufacture the equipment, and IO will then take care of the installation,
testing and commissioning.
For more information on F4E
tenders click here.