“First Plasma” day

Some of you already know that I am Mechanical Engineer working for one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today.

This project is called ITER and till today I have dedicated to it more than 8 years of my life.

ITER is an Enormous Experimental Fusion Reactor which is being built in Cadarache, south of France, by an International Team.

To make it short, I would tell you that what we want to do is to reproduce a burning “Sun” (yes, yes, our star) in the earth…and that is only possible by reaching hundreds of thousands of grades of temperature and under a high vacuum conditions…

I am the Interface Project Manager of the Superconducting Magnets Project Team. Magnets are the core of the Fusion Reactor and the most important part of the machine since it will allow us to confine the hot plasma using Powerful Magnetic Fields.

Nowadays, we are ending our first Toroidal Coil (Magnet)… a massive piece 18 meters high, 9 meters wide and 4 meters thick and, more or less 300 Tons of weight…

(Source)

This last phase of the Magnet Fabrication is being carrying out close to Venice but the components and subassemblies have come from Russia, Japan, Europe, Korea, China, USA etc… so, that’s why I am always travelling to Italy lately but before I was going as well to the other countries… following the production.

The main milestone of the project is called “The First Plasma” and, in theory, it will be the moment on which the machine will be ready, again, in theory, to produce plasma… The target date points towards 2025… I have my doubts about but we are working as slaves in order to finish our part before that date…

Today, at the factory, part of the team and myself have been playing with an scaled model of the TF Coil mounted on its Vacuum Sector…one colleague put his lighter just in the center of the assembly …just emulating the “plasma” that one day will be…

This is a very long project, believe me… but, despite the political problems and technical challenges… we will make it…

@toofasteddie

About the author: toofasteddie
Father, Runner and Crypto Addicted

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