GA-ITER Energy Program

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General Atomics is fabricating one of the world's largest and most powerful superconducting magnets for ITER – an unprecedented scientific collaboration of 35 nations. The Central Solenoid is the heart of ITER. The 5-story, 1,000-ton magnet will drive 15 million amperes of electrical current in ITER's fusion plasma for stabilization. Each coil will be 7 feet tall and 14 feet wide with 4 miles of superconducting cable, powering ITER in its quest to prove that nuclear fusion – the process that powers the stars – can produce virtually limitless safe, clean and renewable energy.

ITER CENTRAL SOLENOID PRECISION ENGINEERING

  • Winding: Forming a module from 3.5 miles of conductor. The conductor consists of Niobium-Tin superconducting cable in a 2" square stainless steel jacket
  • Heating: Formed module is processed in a convection furnace to create the superconducting alloy. The month long process includes heating to 1200º F with constant temperature hold times exceeding 350 hours
  • Insulating: The 560 turn coil is lifted and each turn separated to allow for wrapping of six layers (180 miles) of insulating tape
  • Encapsulating: Coil is placed in a mold then heated and injected with resin
  • Testing: Magnet coils are cooled to -450°F (4°K) and tested at a current of 48,500 Amps to simulate ITER operations

OTHER ITER TECHNOLOGIES

  • Low energy loss, high-power microwave transmission line components
  • Software for real-time plasma control
  • Methods to prevent uncontrolled collapse of ITER plasmas and high energy bursts from plasma edge using internal stabilization coils
  • Low Field Side Reflectometer: A diagnostic using microwaves to measure plasma density profiles
  • Wide Angle Visible & Infrared Viewing System: Set of diagnostic cameras to monitor for hot spots in ITER plasma chamber
  • Toroidal Interferometer Polarimeter: Diagnostic to measure plasma density distribution
  • Archiving methods for storing multi-gigabytes of ITER experimental data