Ansaldo Nucleare Completed The Welding Activities On First Sector Of ITER Vacuum Vessel

Last December, Ansaldo Nucleare completed the welding activities for the installation of crucial diagnostics, instrumentation and a cable tray on Vacuum Vessel Sector #6 (VVS#6) at ITER.

As part of the Tokamak Assembly Works, specialist engineers from Ansaldo Nucleare were required to weld a total of 1,483 attachments onto the VVS#6*.

A crucial component of the ITER Tokamak, the Vacuum Vessel is a hermetically sealed steel container that has been designed to house fusion reactions and act as a first safety containment barrier.

The design of the VVS#6 presented unique challenges, due to its curved and complex geometry. To ensure the accuracy of the welded attachments’ locations, welding experts from Ansaldo Nucleare used a cutting-edge laser templating technique to project temporary markings onto the vessel with a safe, low-power laser. This allowed the welders to precisely align each component according to its projection, without having to burn any permanent marks onto the surface.

The next sector due to undergo these initial welds (VVS#7) is expected to be delivered on site by spring 2021, after which Ansaldo Nucleare will begin a similar work package by summer. The third and fourth Sectors will arrive in late 2021.

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the world’s largest nuclear fusion project began its five-year assembly phase on 28th July 2020.

Assembly in Cadarache is expected to be over in late 2025.

The €20bn ITER project will replicate the reactions that power the sun and is intended to demonstrate fusion power can be generated on a commercial scale.