ITER: Welding of copper in-vessel coils

December 22, 2015

Bilfinger Piping Technologies has won a contract for development and qualification of an orbital welding process suitable for joining the in-Vessel coils (IVC) as part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) construction project.

The IVCs are responsible for the stabilization of the plasma and are thus crucial for operation of the fusion reactor. They are located inside the vacuum vessel which means that they are subject to high thermal and electromagnetic loads. This positioning also makes them inaccessible during operation of the reactor. The combination of these conditions illustrates the high quality level required for the weld joints that are to be delivered in the limited installation space available at the site.

Bilfinger has been selected for this project by ITER Organization due to its outstanding experience in the development of orbital welding as well as the handling of a large variety of materials for nuclear applications.

ITER is the largest fusion energy research project worldwide and is being carried out by the project partners including the EU, Japan, India, Korea, China, Russia and the USA since its start in 2006.