Preparations underway to give electrical power to MITICA
The power supply for the Residual Ion Dump (RID), manufactured by OCEM PE, financed by F4E, has been delivered to MITICA - the second experiment of the ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility, Consorzio RFX, Padua, Italy. On the left, the Acceleration Grid Power Supplies Conversion System, produced by NIDEC ASI, financed by F4E.
In the outskirts of Padua (Italy), at the leafy entrance of Consorzio
RFX, a truck has received permission to deliver a bulky piece of equipment at the
rear end of its premises where the ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility (NBTF) is
located. MITICA, which stands for Megavolt ITER Injector and Concept
Advancement, is expected to play a crucial role in the heating systems of the
biggest fusion device. Its aim is to develop a Neutral Beam Injector (NBI)
prototype similar to the one that will operate in ITER and monitor its
performance through various tests.
“Through MITICA we will learn how to
manufacture the NBIs that ITER will require in order to deliver the extremely
high plasma temperatures” explains Tullio Bonicelli, heading the F4E team for
the European contribution to the Neutral Beam, Electron Cyclotron, Power
Supplies and Sources. Although neutral beam injection is routinely used for
heating gas in fusion devices, MITICA will reach some “mythical” levels of
power compared to the existing test beds. It is the result of the in-kind
contributions of F4E, the ITER Domestic Agency of Japan, their suppliers, and Consorzio
RFX, the host of the facility.
We spoke to Loris Zanotto, working at Consorzio
RFX as Deputy Programme Manager for the NBTF, and Project Leader for the Power
Supplies, to understand the significance of this milestone. "I feel that
the completion of the MITICA power supplies is an outstanding achievement. An
important step towards the first-ever neutral beam injector for ITER,” he says.
“I am very impressed by the extraordinary commitment of the NBTF Team in this
challenging project, which is at the very limit of the available power supplies
and high voltage technology. We look
forward to operating MITICA and to collaborating with all involved partners for
the future of fusion and ITER.”
power supply for the Residual Ion Dump (RID), manufactured by OCEM PE, financed
by F4E, arriving at MITICA - the second experiment of the ITER Neutral Beam Test
Facility, Consorzio RFX, Padua, Italy.
Europe and Japan are the two parties responsible for the provision of
MITICA’s power supplies. All of Europe’s equipment has been manufactured. In
fact, most of it has been delivered and installed, with the exception of the
last lot expected to arrive in December. The cost of the equipment, financed by
F4E, comes to a total of approximately 22 million EUR. NIDEC, OCEM PE
are the three companies directly involved.
NIDEC ASI, an Italian medium-size company specialising in industrial
electrical systems has produced the Acceleration Grid Power Supplies Conversion
System (AGPS-CS). Basically, this piece of equipment will take power from the
grid at 22kV AC (Alternating Current) and together with five DC (Direct
Current) generators, produced by ITER Japan, will convert it into 1 MV DC.
Ultimately, this current will reach the injector to accelerate the ion beam. “Nearly
all of the equipment that will give power to MITICA is here” explains Daniel
Gutierrez, Technical Officer following this contract on behalf of F4E. “Our
collaboration with NIDEC for the production of the AGPS power supplies began in
autumn 2015. Two and a half years later, we are pleased to announce that their
units are installed, fully operational, after having gone through extremely
demanding factory and site acceptance tests. As the works for equipment of the
ITER NBTF are coming to an end, we are now starting the production of the ITER
units,” he concludes.
Ettore Merli, NIDEC
ASI Project Manager, confirms that “from the start we established a partnership
with F4E, and the other parties, that went beyond that of a customer-supplier.
We looked together for solutions respecting the technical requirements of the
project, its schedule and cost. Our contribution to ITER is of strategic
importance because it allows us to work in an international environment which
promotes cutting-edge technology.”
More equipment has arrived at MITICA — this time from OCEM PE. The
company has manufactured the units that will supply an average voltage of 25 kV
to the Residual Ion Dump (RID), whose role will be “to catch” any of the ions
left after the beam has been neutralised. The collaboration between F4E and OCEM
PE dates back to 2010 for the manufacturing of power supplies for SPIDER,
MITICA (the two NBTF experiments), and ITER.
Giuseppe Taddia, OCEM PE General
Manager, recalls: “…today we are almost halfway of the entire supply of
equipment, which also includes the units for ITER. Our involvement in the
project has boosted our competitiveness and our ability to produce equipment
fit for a very demanding environment.” Next in line is the delivery of the MITICA
ISEPS equipment (Ion Source and Extraction Power Supply), expected to reach
Padua in December, which will be part of the High Voltage Deck manufactured by
Siemens, already installed in the NBTF. With the arrival of the ISEPS equipment
from OCEM PE, Europe’s contribution to MITICA’s power supplies will be
The power supply for the Residual Ion Dump (RID), manufactured by OCEM PE, financed by F4E, ready to be installed in MITICA - the second experiment of
the ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility, Consorzio RFX, Padua, Italy.