Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation of Japan said Tuesday it had completed its first manufacturing of a toroidal field coil for ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, which is under construction in southern France.
The toroidal field coils are huge superconducting magnets that are required to contain the vast amounts of plasma energy created by the fusion reactor in what is considered a "mega-project" involving funding from The European Union, the United States, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea and India).
Toshiba completed the construction of the first coil case in December 2018. The first field coil itself has been entrusted by the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology as one of the largest of its kind in the world. This coil measures 16.5 meters in length, 9 meters in width. It weighs approximately 300 tons, Toshiba said.
The coil is one of nineteen to be constructed, including nine in Japan and nine in Europe plus a spare, according to World Nuclear Association. Toshiba is slated to produce four coils and six cases, plus contribute to ongoing operations of the reactor.
Under construction in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France, ITER will be used to perform a scientific and technological feasibility study of nuclear fusion energy, which is expected to be one of the future energy sources.
Nuclear fusion energy generates electric power by utilizing the heat generated from the reactions of atomic nuclei fusing together. This is the “dream energy” known as “the Sun on the Earth” because it can create large-scale power generation using massive amounts of heat energy similar to what happens inside the sun. Nuclear fusion reaction generates energy through fusion of the atomic nucleus, so it does not create high-level nuclear waste or CO2. Because of this, it is expected to be the next generation of energy that can contribute toward controlling global warming.
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