Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Heavy Engineering manufactured 1,250 tonne Cryostat base, the single largest section of the world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor, has been successfully lifted and placed into a reactor building in France, accomplishing a major milestone in the nuclear engineering world.
The assembly tools of Cryostat were delivered during the lockdown by the Heavy Engineering arm of L&T to ensure the uninterrupted assembly of Cryostat in the reactor pit in southern France.
The Cryostat forms the vacuum-tight container surrounding the reactor vacuum vessel and the superconducting magnets and acts essentially as a very large refrigerator.
The reactor base, the single largest and heaviest Tokamak component of the world’s largest stainless-steel, high-vacuum, pressure chamber Cryostat, will eventually contain the rest of the reactor.
The installation into the ITER Tokamak building is a major activity for other downstream activities to achieve the mission for first plasma as soon as possible by the end of 2025.
L&T has also already delivered the lower cylinder of the Cryostat in March 2019 and upper cylinder in March 2020.
The final part, the top lid sectors will be dispatched from Hazira, Gujarat, in July 2020. The project scope is divided into three parts, firstly manufacturing and shipping of all subassembly sections from L&T Hazira, then constructing a temporary workshop at the project site in France for assembling the Cryostat sections into large assemblies and lastly to integrate the Cryostat inside the Tokamak Reactor building.
The Cryostat is the largest vacuum vessel ever built with 29.4 mtr in diameter, 29 mtr in height weighing 3,850 tonne.
The company won the contract in 2012. ITER India, a wing of the Department of Atomic Energy, is the overall in-charge of the Indian participation for the scientific project.
India is among the seven countries funding USD 20 billion International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) programme in Cadarache, France.