Congratulations to the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), the Japanese Implementing Agency for Broader Approach activities and F4E partner in the JT-60SA project, for having completed the on-site assembly of nine sectors of the JT-60SA tokamak vacuum vessel!
This major achievement comes after years of work – the JT-60SA tokamak assembly began in January 2013 and is expected to last six years, including a commissioning period which will enable the first plasma to be achieved in March 2019. Before the placing and welding of the last sector which is foreseen in 2017, the 18 Toroidal Field (TF) coils (magnets which will keep the plasma in place during the fusion process) produced in Europe will be threaded over the vessel and fixed in place.
The JT-60SA vacuum vessel, in a sense the heart of the machine where the fusion reaction will take place, consists of 10 sectors made of 316 L stainless steel, 6.6 metres high and 3.5 metres wide, each weighing around 17 tonnes. All sectors have been manufactured by Toshiba as part of JAEA´s contribution to the JT-60SA project under the Broader Approach Agreement between Europe and Japan. The vacuum vessel, with a diameter of 10 metres and a height of 6.6 metres, has been assembled respecting maximum tolerances of the order of a few millimetres!
"This important Japanese achievement is a fundamental milestone towards achieving the challenging goal to complete JT-60SA project on schedule, by March 2019. On behalf of F4E and the Broader Approach European voluntary contributors, I heartily congratulate JAEA and their suppliers", says Pietro Barabaschi, Home Team Project Manager for Europe's contribution to the Broader Approach (BA) project and Acting Director of F4E.