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Luvata cements position as leading global superconductor specialist with third nuclear fusion win

A $26 million contract from US Dept of Energy

Latest Luvata contract win follows superconductor projects in Europe and South Korea

(5th October 2009): Luvata, the global metals-manufacturing and technology company, has confirmed its position as the world’s leading producer of ultra high-grade superconductive material with a $26 million nuclear fusion contract from the US Department of Energy.

The contract has been awarded to Luvata to supply materials for the world’s largest nuclear fusion experiment, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, which is being constructed at Cadarache, Southern France, in a partnership between the USA, People's Republic of China, the European Union, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation.

The contract follows a similar project win for Luvata to supply chromium-plated copper strands to Fusion for Energy, the European partner in the ITER project. Luvata has also supplied superconductors for the KSTAR experimental nuclear fusion reactor in South Korea.

Each contract involves tailor-made superconductor to provide virtually zero resistance and flawless conductivity, requiring a bespoke alloy mix and ultra high tolerance manufacturing to ensure it meets the technical requirements of each project.

In the latest contract win for the US Department of Energy, Luvata will be responsible for supplying over the next two years 86 per cent of the US commitment for superconductive wire and copper wire needed to complete the massive and scientifically significant ITER project. 

The ITER project will play a significant role in the production of ‘clean’ nuclear power. Using a $15 billion plasma device designed by ITER scientists, the project will aim to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion power. The device utilizes extremely powerful superconducting magnets enabling the fusion process to release vast amounts of heat that can be harnessed to generate carbon-free electricity.

A successful outcome of this massive experiment will allow future thermal and electrical generation facilities to collect the resultant energy created by the same phenomena that drives our Sun as opposed to the burning of fossil fuels.

Jim Lajewski, President from Luvata Waterbury commented: “We are delighted to be playing such a significant role in this ground breaking project and to be working so closely with such exceptional organizations”.

The U.S. contribution to ITER is a Department of Energy Office of Science project consisting of procurement of hardware (including supporting R&D and design); assignment of personnel (U.S. engineers and scientists) to the ITER site; and cash contributions for the U.S. share of common expenses such as personnel infrastructure, assembly and installation.

Luvata has expended significant resources over the past fifteen years to develop the suitable materials for this application and is a recognized leader in the supply of superconductive wires for medical diagnostic systems, high energy physics projects, and related applications where delivery and performance are critical.



In May 2017, the Special Products division of Luvata was acquired by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation.


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