Tecnalia involved in the characterization of materials and prototypes for ITER
Tecnalia has a large network of accredited laboratories and qualified staff with extensive experience in the field of testing and characterization of materials and parts. This capacity and knowledge allows Tecnalia to offer a wide range of services (testing, assessment, diagnosis, consulting…) in the different areas related to material and parts properties (mechanical, chemical, etc.). Our laboratories are accredited according to national and international quality standards and feature multiple authorisations.
In the execution of this contract, Tecnalia will work with other laboratories for some specific tests, and we should highlight the collaboration with SCI, S.A. which will be responsible for conducting non-destructive tests (NDT).
ITER is a first-of-a-kind global collaboration. It will be the world's largest experimental fusion facility and is designed to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion power. It is expected to produce a significant amount of fusion power (500 MW) for about seven minutes. Fusion is the process which powers the sun and the stars. When light atomic nuclei fuse together form heavier ones, a large amount of energy is released. Fusion research is aimed at developing a safe, limitless and environmentally responsible energy source.
Europe will contribute almost half of the costs of its construction, while the other six parties to this joint international venture (China, Japan, India, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the USA), will contribute equally to the rest. The components that make up ITER are being manufactured by each of the participating parties and contributed in kind through so-called Domestic Agencies including Fusion for Energy (F4E) as the European Agency. The site of the ITER project is in Cadarache, in the South of France.
In many cases the engineering and technologies required to manufacture these components are very advanced. On the other hand, the performance of materials is crucial for the operation of fusion reactors, so their quality needs to be assured with high certitude. Material characterizations and non-destructive testing are needed in order to support the construction and development of components and materials for ITER and other fusion related facilities under the responsibility of F4E. The contract concerns the materials at room and elevated temperatures, which are present in particular in the vacuum vessel and in-vessel components operating normally between RT and 200 ºC, but higher peak temperatures are also expected during the operation of ITER.