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Media Corner
02 March 2012

PRIMA project launched at the Neutral Beam Test Facility

Director of Consorzio RFX, R. Piovan, ITER Director General, Prof. O. Motojima, F4E Director F. Briscoe, and President of Consorzio RFX, Prof. F. Gnesotto in front of the RFX machine © martimex

In the vast experimental hall, an impressive gathering of fusion expertise at the head table to celebrate the launching of the PRIMA project for the realisation of the ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility: ITER Director General, Professor Osamu Motojima, President of Consorzio RFX, Professor Francesco Gnesotto, Director of the Energy Directorate at Research Directorate General of the European Commission, Raffaele Liberali, and F4E’s Director Frank Briscoe. The event, which took place at the Neutral Beam Test Facility in the northern Italian town of Padua on 27 February, highlighted the construction and development and testing of the injector system and the international collaboration which is taking place between F4E and RFX. F4E has and will contribute a total of approximately 200 million EUR, in terms of grants and procurements.

In the 200-strong audience, high-level representatives from the Italian local authorities, national research organisations, politicians as well as industry and delegates from the Indian and Japanese ITER Domestic Agencies listened to presentations on the ITER project, the F4E contribution to the ITER project and the PRIMA project. “The success of the ITER project relies on the capabilities and skills of research laboratories such as RFX and industry. Working together is crucial and fruitful”, said Frank Briscoe F4E Director. In addition, the advantage of having this scientific center located in Padua was highlighted together with the involvement of companies of the region allowing for the development of skills and knowledge.

The PRIMA project is a new plant to test and develop the ITER’s Neutral Beam (NB) injector system. In ITER, two injectors will supply 33 MW of power, 16.5 MW each, in order to provide the high temperature necessary for fusion reactions to occur in the plasma. After the deployment of the two first ITER injectors, the laboratory will operate in parallel to the experiments in ITER to optimise Neutral Beam injector performance, also in view of the future fusion reactor. It is an enterprise with a strong innovative character that projects Consorzio RFX directly to “the heart” of ITER, confirming that, Italy is at the forefront Europe’s fusion programme. 

The event marked the launching of the PRIMA project for the realisation of the ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility