International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is the follow-up logical step in the development of research programs in the field of Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion (CTF). This is an important step in demonstrating the potential of generating electricity due to thermonuclear fusion and provision electric energy to growing Earth population. растущее население Земли. ITER construction was started in 2012 in France, 60 kilometers from Marseilles. Company management plans to finish the construction in 2023.
Total investments volume for this project is 13 billons $. In addition to Europe Union countries the project is financed by 6 countries like Russia, China, South Korea, USA, India and Japan. ITER is designed to produce approximately 500 MW of fusion power sustained for up to 1,000 seconds by the fusion of about 0.5 g of deuterium/tritium mixture in its approximately 840 m3 reactor chamber.
As expected, ITER will produce in the form of heat 10 times more the energy than it will necessary to keep plasma temperature on the needed level for nuclear fusion.
In the boundary of this project ECAR engineers had the task to estimate the strength of test facility that will be used for testing of key components of the reactor system Port Plugs which are used in the reactor for diagnostic of plasma warming-up. Russian company responsible for creation, manufacturing and delivery of test facility in front of ITER was a customer for the project.
Port Plug Test Facility
Stress analysis of static and cycling strength as well as whole structure stability had to be implemented in accordance with all applied loads and working conditions.
The following loads had to be taking into consideration during the strength estimation:
Normal operation loads;
Floor mounting loads;
Thermocycling (loads combination of pressure loads with heating loads);
Testing from pressure;
Seismic loads and loads in case of incidents.
One of the main specific point of this project was the use of Europe norms, applied to strength estimation of this kind of structure. In addition to ECAR Quality Management system was audited by ITER. The audit didn’t display any nonconformity.
For the stress estimation the complex FE model was created by ECAR engineers. This FE model had to be in line with design of testing facility to take into account geometrical features, attachment conditions, the junctions of design elements and also to meet ITER requirements to finite elements, quality of net and convergence.
FE model of vacuum Test facility with attached adapter for UPP
For implementation of this task ECAR engineers developed strength estimation methodologies for maximum full and closed to reality description of applied loads and test facility behaviour described in the technical specification load cases and their combinations.
Some specific tasks were accomplished. On them was the provision of equivalent pressurize of special aluminum profiles used as a sealing of test facility.
After stress estimation customer was provided with two reports (for UPP and EPP) on Russian and then their translation to English for the following re-sending to ITER.