The first F4E clips reporting on the progress of an ITER component have just been released and producing them has been an incredibly interesting and gratifying experience. Since the start of this project, the complexity of the ITER machine has been widely discussed and debated between fusion experts to such extent that the moment we crossed the doorstep of an ITER clean facility with our audio visual crew it almost felt like crossing the Rubicon. We think that seeing is believing! For this reason we have decided to travel all the way to La Spezia, Italy, to visit a 25000m2 facility managed by ASG that is going to host the assembly of Europe's ten winding packs for the Toroidal Field (TF) coils.
We have interviewed four experts whose main duty over the next years will be to carry out this extremely challenging task successfully. They will have to identify together with suppliers the best engineering solutions to manufacture the TF coils, monitor closely the R&D together with the manufacturing activities and solve the technical issues that may occur. Moreover, they will have to co-ordinate the work between the different suppliers, travel to many locations and last but not least, make sure that a stringent quality assurance process is applied. Each TF coil weighs approximately 300 tonnes and with Europe being responsible for the production of ten they would better get ready to lift 3,000 tonnes on their shoulders.
We have produced two clips to unveil the strategy behind the production of the TF coils, the key engineering moments and the thrill of being involved in a project like ITER. Alessandro Bonito-Oliva, EU responsible officer and group leader for the TF coils, presents Europe’s manufacturing strategy and explains the different stages involved in the manufacturing of these massive magnets. Robert Harrison, EU technical officer, describes what happens in the winding facility and what is challenging about the work undertaken. Jordi Cornella, EU technical officer, invites us to visit the massive furnace that will heat treat the TF coil components to temperatures reaching 650°C and last but not least, Antonio Pellechia, ASG project manager, explains the commitments taken by the consortium involved in this task together with the prestige and challenge of producing the first ever magnets of this size able to sustain such temperatures.
To watch the two clips on the manufacturing of the TF coils click here.