The inner-core of another European superconducting magnet, known as winding pack, has been completed in compliance with COVID-19 regulations and its transport will be carried out in line with the new protocols. The massive piece of equipment will depart from the ASG Superconductors factory, La Spezia, to be delivered to Marghera where it will go through the final steps of manufacturing. Once completed, the component will be transported to Cadarache, France, to be part of the biggest fusion device in the history of mankind.
ITER is the international scientific experiment to test the potential of fusion energy, described as efficient, environmentally-responsible and safe. Seven partners representing half of the world’s population and 80% of the global GDP are part of this project: the European Union, China, Japan, USA, Russia, India and South Korea. Fusion for Energy (F4E), the EU organisation managing Europe’s contribution to ITER, is responsible for nearly half of the project. Through F4E’s procurement and manufacturing strategy, European companies and laboratories participate with their know-how and technical expertise delivering the EU’s share of components. At least 40 companies and more than 700 people are involved in the production of the ten Toroidal Field (TF) coils.
In total, ITER will use 18 of TF coils, powerful superconducting magnets to confine the burning plasma which will reach 150 million °C. How? They will create a massive magnetic cage to keep the hot gas away from the walls of the vessel of the machine. When powered with current (68 000 A) the magnetic field will reach up to 11.8 Tesla—about 250 000 times the magnetic field of the Earth! Each magnet measures 17 x 9 m and weighs 320 tonnes— as much as an Airbus A350. The ITER TF coils are the largest Nb3Sn magnets ever produced in history: 4 570 m of superconducting cable are used for each magnet, and the processing phases involve a mix of heat treatment processes, tests in vacuum chambers, sophisticated welding and manual works. The production at the ASG Superconductors factory, a Malacalza family-owned company, is in compliance with COVID-19 regulations. The transport of TF Coils from ASG Superconductors to the port of Marghera will be handled by Master Project & Logistics, a Tarros group company.