What is a tokamak? Where is it being built in the world today as the b...
Sep 30, 2016
What is a tokamak? Where is it being built in the world today as the biggest scientific project? What role is India playing in it? Focus on cryostat.
India and ITER
Tokamak is the machine to produce unlimited supplies of cheap, clean, safe and commercial energy from atomic fusion. The international nuclear fusion project known as ITER is based on the 'tokamak' concept. Indian engineers are fabricating the world's largest high-vacuum cold storage vessel called the cryostat which will be home to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the largest and the most advanced facility of its kind being built in Cadarache, France. India is part of a seven nation consortium that is building the fusion reactor designed to produce electricity.
Apart from the cryostat (Read ahead), India is providing a tenth of the components for the massive nuclear complex unfolding at Cadarache in France.
India is also expected to contribute about 9,000 cores over the next decade to the project, thus paying for a little under 10% of the total cost.
Participation of India in the ITER project, with its immense scientific talent and industrial competence, has provided an opportunity to India to master cutting edge technologies.
Once the proof is established that mankind can harness the power of the Sun, India could well build its own fusion reactors after 2050.
India and the cryostat
Welded together from thick stainless steel plates measuring between 40 and 180 millimetres, the cryostat forms the vacuum-tight container surrounding the ITER vacuum vessel and superconducting magnets. Cryostat supports the entire mechanical, thermal and seismic load of the reactor and absorbs all the forces coming from fusion and magnetic forces. It would protect the magnets from unwanted heat loads and help in keeping them in superconducting state.Large bellows are used between the cryostat and the vacuum vessel to allow for thermal contraction and expansion in the structures.
India is building the ITER's cryostat. Scientists and engineers at the Institute of Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar will manufacture the mammoth cryostat in segments at a cost of 100 million euros and ship it to France for being assembled at the site.
The supply of components is expected to take place between 2014 and 2017 and onsite fabrication and installation at Cadarache is scheduled to be completed by 2019.