General Atomics is fabricating one of the world's largest and most powerful pulsed superconducting electromagnets for ITER, an unprecedented scientific collaboration of 35 nations. The Central Solenoid is the heart of ITER, and the 5-story, 1,000-ton magnet will drive 15 million amperes of electrical current in ITER's fusion plasma for stabilization. Each coil is 7 feet tall, 14 feet wide, and is composed of 3.5 miles of superconducting cable. The completed Central Solenoid is a critical component for ITER in its quest to prove that nuclear fusion – the process that powers the stars – can produce virtually limitless safe, clean and renewable energy.
Fabricating the Central Solenoid is an exacting, complicated process that began in 2015 and will take seven years to complete.
GA is developing a range of other technologies for ITER. These include:
- 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