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“When building a machine as large and as complex as ITER, difficulties and setbacks do not come as surprises - they are an integral part of manufacturing, assembling and installing first-of-a-kind components,” the ITER Organisation said recently.

Date: Friday, 25 November 2022
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China National Nuclear Corp's Southwestern Institute of Physics says that the first piece of the enhanced heat flux first wall for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor has been produced, with its core indicators better than design requirements.

Date: Friday, 25 November 2022
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Problems will require in-depth examination and ‘time and budget’ to repair October 2022 file photo of the 30-metre-deep pit in the tokamak building being prepared for the Iter machine itself. Courtesy Iter. Defects have been identified in two key First-of-a-kind tokamak components for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter) nuclear fusion plant under construction at Cadarache in southern France, with the €20bn project facing potential delays while repairs are carried out.

Iter said in a project update that the two components are the vacuum vessel thermal shields and the vacuum vessel sectors.

The issues “demand in-depth examination, creativity in devising corrective actions, and time and budget to repair”, Iter said.

The vacuum vessel thermal shields are actively cooled silver-plated elements, 20 mm thick that contribute to thermally insulating the plant’s superconducting magnet system operating at 4K, or minus 269C.

Date: Thursday, 24 November 2022
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The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project has announced defects have been discovered in the thermal shields and vacuum vessel sectors and warned that the consequences on schedule and cost "will not be insignificant".

Date: Wednesday, 23 November 2022
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Canada’s General Fusion and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) have initiated projects to advance the commercialisation of magnetised target fusion energy as part of an important collaborative agreement. With these unique projects, General Fusion said it will benefit from the vast experience of the UKAEA’s team. The results will hone the design of General Fusion’s demonstration machine being built at the Culham Campus in Oxford. Ultimately, the company expects the projects will support its efforts to provide low-cost and low-carbon energy to the electricity grid.

Date: Friday, 21 October 2022
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Using Electron Beam Welding (EBW), the company weld-joined two 200mm-thick, 3-metre diameter vessel sections in UK small modular reactor nuclear grade steel, describing it as a breakthrough in the industrialisation of EBW for thick-section materials.

Date: Thursday, 31 March 2022
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Scientists of Russia’s Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) are investigating the behaviour of welded joints made of E110 zirconium alloy, obtained by means of laser welding with the aim of developing accident tolerant fuel.

Date: Friday, 14 January 2022
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Russia’s Troitsk Institute of Innovative and Thermonuclear Research (Triniti - part of Rosatom’s scientific division) said on 5 October that, together with Krasnaya Zvezda (a Rosatom enterprise specialising in space propulsion systems), it had for the first time carried out external refuelling of the T-11M tokamak with liquid lithium in a continuous operating cycle.

Date: Friday, 08 October 2021
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UK Science Minister and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Science, Research & Innovation Amanda Solloway on 17 June visited First Light Fusion in Oxford and officially fired the first 'shot' in First Light's maiden fusion campaign using its newly completed 'Big Gun'.

Date: Wednesday, 23 June 2021
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After a decade of design and fabrication, US-based General Atomics said on 15 June that it is ready to ship the first module of the Central Solenoid to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) under construction in Saint-Paul-lès-Durance in southern France. Despite the challenges of Covid-19, ITER is almost 75% built and massive first-of-a-kind components have been arriving in France from three continents over the past 15 months. Construction of ITER is funded mainly by the European Union (45.6%) with the remainder shared equally by China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the USA (9.1% each). However, in practice, the members deliver little monetary contribution to the project, instead providing ‘in-kind’ contributions of components, systems or buildings.

Date: Wednesday, 16 June 2021
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