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Russia’s DV Efremov Institute of Electrophysical Apparatus (NIIEFA, part of Rosatom) says a Japanese test assembly has completed testing for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), under construction in France. Eight elements of a prototype divertor, passed 6,000 test cycles at loads from 5 to 20 MW per square metre, confirming "the compliance of the Japanese element with the highest requirements" of ITER. The tests were carried out at the ITER Divertor Test Facility (IDTF) in St Petersburg, which supports tasks for the ITER project.

The tests had to show whether the components could withstand a plasma temperature of 30m degrees C. Leading laboratory engineer Andrey Volodin noted: “We use an electron beam as a source of heat. The electrons, under the influence of an accelerating voltage with high energy, crash into the prototype surface creating a thermal load.”

Anatoly Krasilnikov, director of Russian private institution ITER Centre (part of Rosatom) said the tests confirmed ongoing active international cooperation on the ITER project as well as the expertise of Russian research centres and the qualifications of Russian specialists.

Previously, a series of similar tests of both Russian and foreign equipment was carried out on the IDTF installation. These include all plasma-facing elements of the Russian full-scale prototype for the central assembly of the divertor (manufactured at NIIEF), which has already been delivered to the ITER Organisation. In 2022, eight elements for serial central assemblies were also successfully tested.

In addition to undertaking testing, Russia’s main contribution is to develop, manufacture and supply 25 systems for the ITER fusion reactor. These include switching equipment, installations for testing, port plugins, divertor dome and thermal tests, poloidal field coil, upper spigots, 170 ghz gyrotrons, diagnostic systems, first wall, blanket module connectors, and port-plagiarism. The poloidal field coil, the largest and one of the most important components for future installation, was delivered to the site in France in February.

The ITER Centre, serves as the Russian national Agency ITER, responsible for ensuring Russia's in-kind contribution to the project.

Cyclic thermal testing of plasma-facing elements is essential for ITER and an integral parts agreement for the supply of divertor components.

NIIEF is a leading Russian scientific, design and production centre for the development of electrophysical installations and complexes for solving scientific and applied problems in the field of plasma physics, atomic and nuclear physics, and elementary particle physics. Installations developed at the Institute are operating in many organisations and enterprises in Russia, the CIS countries, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, North Korea and South Korea.

Rosatom says that, despite sanctions and restrictions, Russia continues to fulfil its obligations to the ITER Project. Rustam Enikeev, Acting Deputy General Director for Thermonuclear and Magnetic Technologies at NIIEFA says: “The International Organisation of ITER is a family. Whatever difficulties there may be in international relations, this does not affect our work. Human relations have not changed in any way.”

Yutaka Kamada, First Deputy General Director of ITER for Science and Technology notes: “Collaboration with Russian colleagues is indispensable for the ITER project. We have performed very important high-temperature tests. We must work together for the success of the ITER project.”

Image courtesy of Rosatom

Date: Wednesday, 12 July 2023
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