Intertek, quality assurance provider to industries worldwide, will deliver surveillance and quality assurance services to Fusion for Energy (F4E), the organisation responsible for providing Europe’s contribution to ITER, a multinational scientific partnership, established with the goal of proving the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy.
The idea for an international joint fusion experiment was first launched in 1985 and since then thousands of engineers and scientists have contributed to ITER’s design.
The ITER project is based in southern France and involves the collaboration of 35 countries. When construction is complete the world’s largest tokamak, a magnetic fusion device, will demonstrate the scientific and technological viability of fusion energy as a safe, unlimited and sustainable source of energy.
Intertek has been contracted to oversee the manufacturing process of ITER’s Toroidal Field (TF) coils according to technical specifications, management documentation and quality plans that were contractually approved by F4E. Each of ITER’s eighteen TF coils, responsible for confining ITER’s plasma inside its vacuum vessel, consist of a winding pack of radial plates and a protective shell of stainless steel. These TF coils are some of the largest to ever be manufactured and represent over one-fourth of the tokamak’s total weight. Manufacturing the TF coils is a complex process and requires unprecedented levels of accuracy to ensure that the coils are able to achieve their operational requirements.
Joaquin Saiz, Asset Integrity Management (AIM) Manager for Intertek in Spain, says, “We are delighted to participate with F4E in assuring the quality of the ITER project TF components. The TF coils are some of the largest and most superconductive magnets ever designed, and manufacturing these coils involves multiple agencies which can create logistical difficulties. Intertek will provide an integrated, systematic approach to ensure that the manufacturing process is successful. The ITER project is a momentous one, and we’re very proud to take part in it.”