In 2020 Ansaldo Nucleare won a framework contract for ITER Remote Handling activities by the customer Fusion For Energy.
The contract involves the implementation, so far only in terms of design, of two new machines for the remote handling, including mechanical, electrical, electronic, and control systems engineering related to remote handling.
Specifically, this task order (no. 4) includes the detailed design of two machines that will be used in the ITER Tokamak assembly phase to move the plugs (boxes), containing instrumentation, for installation and other activities from the assembly hall to the Vacuum Vessel.
The Vacuum Vessel Sector has three levels of ports for installation, assembly, and still others. The machines designed by Ansaldo Nucleare will operate at "equatorial" (middle and therefore horizontal) and "upper" (top and therefore inclined) ports.
The Vacuum Vessel is a hermetically sealed steel container that houses the fusion reactions and acts as a first safety containment barrier: the remote handling activities will have a fundamental role to conduct inspections or repair any of the Tokamak components. In this first phase, Ansaldo Nucleare dealt with the detailed design of the machine, to move to the next stage of manufacturing design and then the manufacturing itself.
Ansaldo Nucleare is a company of the Ansaldo Energia Group that covers all nuclear activities from the production of critical high-tech components to the design and construction of new builds, from decommissioning to advanced research on radwaste management, Fusion, IVth Generation plants and Small Modular Reactors.
Photo: ITER plasma chamber, © ITER Organization