The final pieces of equipment have been carefully positioned. The technicians have tightened the last screws. The noise of tooling fixing the component on the ground is covered by a spontaneous round of applause in the ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility (NBTF), in Padua. The vacuum vessel of the MITICA beam source has been successfully installed. Manufactured by De Pretto Industrie, and financed by F4E, the metallic box which will house the components of the beam source has taken its final position in the facility which will test a first real-size Neutral Beam Injector (NBI) in line with ITER requirements.
End of March the vacuum vessel was delivered to Consorzio RFX, the host of the ITER NBTF. A team of ten people has been working since in order to carry out further inspections on the ground, lift the 57 t component off the ground, place it in the bioshield and fix it firmly. One of the most delicate parts of this operation has been aligning the vacuum vessel to its high voltage bushing (provided by Japan) to which the components housed in the beam source vessel will be connected. The Consorzio RFX Metrology team kept a watchful eye throughout the operations. De Pretto Industrie conducted various checks, such as vacuum and leak tests, to ensure compliance. A similar operation will be carried out towards the end of the year when the vacuum vessel of the beam line components will be delivered to Padua.
There was more good news this week for the ITER NBTF, following the successful installation of the High Voltage bushing, provided by Japan’s ITER Domestic Agency. The equipment was successfully lifted and positioned on top of the MITICA beam source vacuum vessel to feed it in future with 1 MV of power. East and West have joined forces to deliver the components of the powerful NBI. The international nature of the NBTF and the commitment of all its contributors to set it up and operate it, is a helpful reminder of the fact that collaboration is essential to address big technological challenges.