Jacobs Engineering Expands Presence In Fusion Projects

Dallas-based consultancy Jacobs Engineering said this week it had been awarded several fusion-related contracts, with an estimated combined value of more than $25 million, by Fusion for Energy (F4E), ITER Organization and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).  

ITERJacobs was selected to support leading-edge research in fusion, contributing "a range of technological and engineering innovation and support to ITER, the world's largest fusion energy project based in Saint-Paul-lès-Durance, France. 

ITER Organization has also selected Jacobs to work on integrated engineering framework projects as part of a consortium with Orano Projects and the Madrid-based Universidad Nacional de Educatión a Distancia. The primary goal is to minimize operator exposure to radiation during planned maintenance activities by combining strong collaboration skills with knowledge of ITER maintenance activities, remote handling, radiation and contamination assessment, and hazard risk reduction.

As part of an existing contract with ITER Organization, Jacobs is developing and supplying technology to monitor for corrosion in the hermetically sealed vacuum vessel that houses the fusion reactions. This contract also includes the production of safety documentation for submission to French regulators. 

In addition, Jacobs will be providing engineering support in relation to the Tokamak Complex Detritiation System, which is key to decontamination and fuel recycling.

Supporting Fusion for Energy, which is responsible for the European Union contribution to ITER, Jacobs is demonstrating safe operating and maintenance methods for helium-cooled pebble bed test blanket technology and is undertaking the construction design of the hydrogen monitoring system in the tokamak and tritium buildings, a major safety feature of the ITER machine.  

Jacobs has been involved in the ITER project for more than twenty years. The firm has worked on innovative technology projects that include plasma facing first wall panels; test blanket modules; remote handling systems; integrative control, instrumentation and diagnostic systems; radiological and environmental monitoring; and contamination control and decontamination.

Jacobs is also expanding its support to the United Kingdom Atomic Energyt Authoritie's esearch into design, engineering and manufacturing of components for fusion power stations with the award of a $18.4 million contract to design and build a test facility to replicate typical fusion conditions of extreme heat flux, high-pressure cooling and immensely strong electromagnetic fields.

The purpose of the facility is to test components for any fusion reactor, whether experimental such as ITER or to support designs for commercial electricity generation. Jacobs will support UKAEA scientists, with partners from around the globe, to develop fusion as a new source of cleaner energy for tomorrow's power stations.

UKAEA also awarded Jacobs a range of work to support the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP), a U.K. government-funded program to design and build a prototype fusion reactor, demonstrating its commercial viability. The contracts address several key areas where Jacobs can develop innovations to help drive the design and implementation, including modelling and simulation, alloy development and materials science, breeder blanket and divertor design, digital engineering, balance of plant and siting.

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