US Department of Energy to recognize Luvata for contributions to ITER

First toroidal field winding pack in Europe

Image:  First toroidal field winding pack in Europe: Source ITER

(21 February 2017) On Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at Luvata's facility in Waterbury, CT USA, Luvata and related key suppliers, including Summit of America and New England Wire Technologies, will receive national recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for their contributions to ITER ("The Way" in Latin). Luvata produced over 4000 miles of superconducting wire and 3000 miles of special copper wire that will be part of the ITER toroidal field magnet system. The US completed all toroidal field conductor deliveries for ITER earlier this month.

Left: A drawing of single toroidal field coil shows the scale of the ITER tokamak. Right: The compacted strand is visible around the helium cooling channel in the middle of the finished conductor. Source: US ITERITER, an unprecedented international collaboration to demonstrate sustained burning plasma—a necessary step for fusion energy development—is now under construction in France. The facility will use over 60,000 miles of low-temperature, helium-cooled superconducting wire to generate the immense toroidal magnetic fields needed to confine 150 million degree Celsius plasma inside the ITER tokamak. Eighteen toroidal field magnets will encircle the inside walls of the ten story tall machine. In total, the toroidal field coils will weigh more than 6500 tons, and will have a total magnetic energy of 41 gigajoules and a maximum magnetic field of 11.8 tesla.

In 2009, Luvata was awarded the $26 million fusion energy contract from the US Department of Energy. At the height of manufacturing, Luvata was producing over 5 metric tons a month of strand. Luvata worked closely with Summit of America in nearby Thomaston, Connecticut for the chrome plating of the strand. After Luvata produced the wire, the lengths of strand were wound onto hundreds of small spools and shipped to a cabling facility, New England Wire Technologies in New Hampshire, and later to an external jacketing, facility. The final conductor was then delivered to the ASG in LaSpezia, Italy, for winding.
US ITER, managed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. is responsible for 8% of the toroidal field coil conductor required; the rest of the conductor will be supplied by other ITER member nations. Deliveries of toroidal field conductor from the US began in 2015. As a partner in ITER, the US is providing hardware for multiple systems. The US project will complete its next system contribution, components for the steady-state electrical network, later in 2017.

A spool of Luvata superconducting strand produced for ITER.Dr. Hem Kanithi, Head of R&D for Luvata Superconductors from Luvata Waterbury commented: "Fusion energy offers the potential for clean, abundant, safe energy. Luvata is humbled to have played a small part in what could change the world in years to come."

Luvata has expended significant resources over the past fifteen years to expand its superconducting wire manufacturing capacity, including the newly renovated 160,000-square foot facility in Waterbury, CT USA. Guests attending the recognition event, including representatives from the US ITER Project Office, New England Wire Technologies, Summit Corporation of America and local government officials, will have an opportunity to tour the updated facilities, which offer additional manufacturing space in addition to a state-of-the-art laboratory.

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