Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has awarded a first contract from Japan’s National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology (QST) for manufacture of 6 units of divertor outer vertical target additional components for ITER(1,2), the experimental fusion reactor currently under construction in southern France. The Outer Vertical Target is one of the parts in the divertor. In acknowledgement of the company’s mass production technologies for components with a high degree of manufacturing difficulty, MHI will handle the manufacturing of the first of a kind units (Units 1-6, of a total of 54), with successive completion and delivery scheduled in fiscal 2024.
The divertor is one of the core components of the fusion reactor used in the tokamak. It removes the helium (He) ashes in the core plasma produced by the fusion reaction, unburned fuel and other impurities, as well as removes high heat load and particle loading, which are necessary for stable confinement of the plasma. The divertor comprises four parts: the Outer Vertical Target being procured by Japan, the Cassette Body and Inner Vertical Target being manufactured in the EU, and the Dome being made in Russia.
The heat load in the divertor reaches a maximum of 20MW/m2. That is equivalent to the surface thermal load on an asteroid probe at re-entering into the atmosphere, and approximately 30 times the surface thermal load on the space shuttle. The Outer Vertical Target, which structurally directly faces the fusion plasma, will be used in an extreme environment exposed to the heat load and particle loading from the plasma. In addition, the structure has an extremely complex shape, requiring a leading edge manufacturing and machining technologies.
MHI previously awarded a contract from QST for manufacture of five (of a total of 19) toroidal field (TF) coils, another core component of ITER. Four of these units have already been shipped, and are in the process of being installed in the device at the ITER site.(3) Going forward, by continuing to work on manufacturing the divertor, MHI will actively support the ITER project to develop this technology, which will be vital to the stable development of the world, and contribute to the realization of fusion energy.
(1) Fusion is the energy source that enables the sun to keep shining. The ultimate goal is achieving fusion on Earth. Fusion reactions fuse light atomic nuclei (deuterium and tritium) in a plasma environment into the heavier element of helium. Fusion reactions emit zero carbon dioxide, and their source of fuel can be extracted from seawater in virtually unlimited quantities (lithium from which tritium is derived, and deuterium). Fusion energy is expected to provide fundamental solutions to many of the world’s energy and environmental problems.
(2) The ITER Project is an international megaproject to demonstrate, both scientifically and technologically, the feasibility of fusion energy. Seven participating parties (Japan, the EU, the U.S., Russia, South Korea, China, and India) are constructing ITER in Saint-Paul-les-Durance, France, with a target for full-fledged operational startup of nuclear fusion combustion by 2035. QST, as the ITER Japan domestic agency for the ITER Project designated by Japanese government, is in charge of procuring these components.
(3) For details on the TF coils that QST ordered from MHI, see the following press release.
About MHI Group
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world’s leading industrial groups, spanning energy, logistics & infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world. For more information, please visit www.mhi.com or follow our insights and stories on www.spectra.mhi.com.
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