JET’s 30th anniversary-The fellowship of the Plasma Ring
On 25 June 1993, thirty years ago was created the Joint European Torus (JET) with a flash of plasma, opening a new era in the history of fusion.
“There was an air of hushed expectancy as the countdown for the first plasma attempt progressed,” remembers Phil Morgan, then an optical spectroscopy specialist who had joined the project the year before. “A suppressed gasp was heard as on one of the TV screens the machine appeared to tilt when the magnetic field was switched on—then loud laughter as people realized that the field was distorting the image recorded by the TV camera.”
For the anniversary about 25 former members of JET and the head of ITER’s CODAC, Heating & Diagnostics Directorate, Paul Thomas, at Culham gathered through video link to discuss about this great day, they will never forget. It seems there were a friendly atmosphere to the anniversary and many anecdotes of the day were discussed, remembered and exchanged.
To Paul, and many others who now are part of the ITER team, JET provided “invaluable experience.”
Another premiere on ITER life: First design review within Test Blanket Module program
This month the first conceptual design review within the Test Blanket Module (TBM) program, a key technology development paving the way to fusion power was celebrated. During its operational phase, ITER will draw upon the global (civil) inventory of tritium, currently estimated at 20 kilos.
Future fusion power stations would have to create their own supply of tritium. Part of ITER’s mission is to test different tritium breeding concepts proposed and developed by the Members, allowing to future fusion reactors to produce their fuel within the machine (tritium self-sufficiency) and at the same time extract the heat produced by the fusion reaction and convert it into electricity. While six different tritium breeding concepts—the Test Blanket Modules—are currently in their pre-conceptual design phase, a group of experts lead by ITER Senior Engineer Guenter Janeschitz concluded in July the first design check. Mario Merola, in charge of ITER’s in-vessel components, called the design review “a significant step forward toward the goal of testing tritium breeding technology.“
The current strategy foresees that the dummy TBM sets and the frames shall be made of water-cooled 316-L(N) steel (ITER grade), a special metal that guarantees reduced activation when exposed to neutrons, no ferromagnetic effects and adequate mechanical properties. Delivery and installation of the six Test Blanket Systems is planned during the machine’s first shutdown period following First Plasma. “We looked at the design concept from all possible different angles and the requirements have been clearly identified,” the Chairman Guenter Janeschitz stated in the panel’s close-out session.
Learn more with images, videos and much further documentation on the official website of the project: http://www.iter.org/
ITER official website: http://www.iter.org/
Newlines 276, 275, 273 (July)
- Iter Technology (newtechnotip.wordpress.com)
- Scientists Report on Progress in Fusion Research in China, USA, Europe (dailyfusion.net)
- ITER PROJECT: Going forward (MissBlue)
- ITER Project, on tracks for 2013 (MissBlue)
- Is this why we don’t invest enough in renewal energies today? (MissBlue)
- ITER Project – Watch and learn (MissBlue) – video