pro-beam is paving the way for one of the biggest technical challenges of humanity
The machine is called the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), built by scientists and engineers from around the world. The reactor is designed to show for the first time on our planet that nuclear fusion can be made to work and deliver more energy than it consumes.
The idea of this international project goes back to talks between Ronald Reagan, François Mitterrand, and Michael Gorbatschow in 1985. The first designs were generated in 1990.
In 2005 Cadarache in the South of France was selected as the site for the plant. In 2009 the construction work started and by 2020 the first plasma in the reactor is expected to be produced.
ITER, Latin "iter" = "the way": The name, random - or foresight - is very suitable because ITER is paving the way for a future with cleaner and virtually infinite available power generation through nuclear fusion and secondly because the trail up to commissioning of the Fusion reactor is and will be a rocky one.
The fusion reactor is developed and operated as a joint project by Europe, Japan, Russia, the People's Republic of China, South Korea, India and the United States.
Core part of this international experimental plant is a gigantic nuclear boiler: a vacuum chamber that will contain the 150 million°C heated plasma - hotter than the sun itself, which is required to discover the data and techniques to be able to reproduce the sun`s principle of energy emissions on Earth.
pro-beam has been developing since 2001 a production strategy for ITER, through feasibility studies and welding test parts suited to various components of the system. Most of the work has been focused on making the actual reactor vessel which consists of a double-walled vacuum container in the form of a vacuum chamber with a height of 12 metres and a diameter of 18 m.
In October 2010 the contract for producing this vacuum chamber was decided and pro-beam won the contract because we were connected to the successful Consortium!
Nine sectors, each in the form of orange slices with a height of 12 m. and an internal width 5 m. formed into a "giant torus" with inside and outside diameters of 6 m. and 18 m. respectively. It is fabricated from thick-walled stainless steel made especially for this purpose with highly specified quality and the total weight will exceed the 8000 tons mass of the Eiffel Tower.
The entire construction was secured by production of Mock-Ups by the four individual segments. Thus, the release to manufacturing of the ITER VV is given (vacuum vessel = VV).
The integrity of the total delivery of the four individual segments (comprising one sector) is secured by the production of Mock-Ups through which the release to manufacturing of the ITER VV has been given (VV = vacuum vessel).
The production of seven of the nine sectors has been awarded to the European consortium of AMW (Ansaldo nucleare, Mangiarotti and Walter Tosto). AMW chose pro-beam as a partner for the electron beam welding of all interior wall structures. pro-beam is therefore performing the electron beam welding of these seven sectors– in the Burg site using the large Chamber capacity K6000. According to the current planning they have to finish production within three years.
Mr. Thomas Gaeb
Phone: +49 (0) 89 - / 899 233 67