5 May 2020

Nuclear industry and Big Science

Manufacturing and installation of ITER toroidal field coils: back on CNIM Industrial Systems' involvement

Friday, April 17, 2020, the first of 18 toroidal field coils arrived on the construction site of the ITER project. CNIM Industrial Systems has been involved in the manufacturing and installation of these 320 tons magnets through F4E, the EU organisation responsible for Europe’s contribution to ITER.


Large size & high precision manufacturing of radial plates

In 2012, F4E asked the Franco Italian CNIM-SIMIC consortium to manufacture the 70 radial plates, real stainless-steel structures for toroidal field coils.

D-shaped, measuring 9 mx 14 m, and having a flatness tolerance of less than a millimeter, these components notably required the adaptation of CNIM's industrial tool at La Seyne-sur-Mer and the development of special and innovative procedures such as electron beam welding under local vacuum.

ASG then inserts a superconducting cable on either side of a radial plate. A double pancake is thus obtained. They are assembled in sets of 7 and undergo several stages of impregnation and insulation to form a winding pack. Finally, the TF Coil is finalized by inserting the winding pack in its case (protection and structural element in particular). These operations are carried out by SIMIC.

On-site precise assembly of key handling tools for ITER mounting

In 2018, taking advantage of the teams already on site and familiar with the ITER project, F4E called on CNIM's skills in precise assembly and heavy handling systems to assemble key handling tools for mounting the ITER’s core: the Upending Tool and the two SSATs (Sector-Sub Assembly Tools).

Thus, transported horizontally - like all the key components of ITER tokamak - and arriving on site on April 20, 2020, the 1st toroidal field coil will soon be installed on the Upending Tool to be lifted into vertical position. It will then be transferred to one of the two SSAT in order to be assembled with the first sector of the vacuum vessel.

Discover the Upending Tool & SSAT, two non-standard handling tools

The Upending Tool is a handling tool for moving components weighing up to 400 tons from the horizontal to vertical position before their transfer to the SSATs.

More information

The 22-meters high SSATs allow each sector of the vacuum vessel to be pre-equipped with 2 toroidal field coils, weighting 320 tons piece, and thermal shielding before it is transferred to the pit.

More information