CCFE’s JAM team works on components at ITER

06 March 2020

CCFE’s Joining & Advanced Manufacturing team is working on novel techniques for performing safety checks on components at the ITER next-step fusion reactor. 

ITER will have a network of many kilometres of pipes. When they need to be replaced, the pipes will be cut and welded in situ, using robotics or remote handling technology. There are many challenges that will need to be overcome, not least due to the levels of radiation and space constraints.

In areas of ITER where defects could be present in safety-critical, welded structures it will be crucial to use standardized methods to evaluate them. Visual and leak or pressure tests are available to assist in the validation, but a comprehensive 100% inspection is required by the nuclear standards and regulators.

The ability to perform checks as part of the weld acceptance process is a priority across ITER and critical for the safety, reliability, and viability of the facility when it begins operations in 2025.

IRTF (ITER Robotics Test Facility) is a collaborative program between the ITER Organization and UKAEA, focusing on ITER remote handling feasibility and risk reduction activities.