Europe’s cryoplant components ready for ITER

Europe is one of the ITER parties with a big stake in the field of cryogenics of the biggest fusion machine in history. The cryoplant can be described as a massive refrigerator which is going to generate extremely cold temperatures for some of the ITER components to achieve fusion power. For instance, to confine the super-hot plasma, expected to reach 150 million ˚C, the magnets will need to be cooled with liquid helium to reach a superconducting state at 4.5 K, close to absolute zero. In 2014 F4E signed a contract for the European share of components to ITER’s powerful cryogenic system with AirLiquide.

One of the facilities that F4E is responsible for, as part of its contribution to ITER’s cryogenic system, is the Liquid Nitrogen – LN2 – plant. The F4E workforces are eagerly expecting the delivery of four turbines which will be inserted in the cold boxes of the LN2 plant. The role of the four turbines will be to generate vast amounts of cooling power for the ITER plant by expanding the gas previously processed by the nitrogen compressors. The two nitrogen compressors of the LN2 plant, which have successfully gone through the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT), are expected to arrive to ITER by the end of September. Representatives from F4E and AirLiquide, Europe’s contractor for its share of cryogenics, have celebrated the successful completion of this manufacturing milestone.

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