AMEC, the international engineering and project management company, working in joint venture with Iberdrola Ingeniería y Construcción and Mecánica Industrial Buelna (MIB), announces today the award of a contract to develop and manufacture a prototype First Wall panel for the ITER nuclear fusion reactor.
The First Wall panels are crucial to the success of ITER, a multi-billion pound project in Caderache, Southern France, that aims to demonstrate the technical feasibility of nuclear fusion as a future power source. The panels form part of a barrier that protects the vacuum vessel at the heart of the ITER machine from neutrons and other energetic particles produced in the fusion process.
The multi-million pound contract awarded by Fusion For Energy (F4E) follows on from the joint venture’s success in developing a one-sixth size semi-prototype under a contract awarded in 2013.
“The successful delivery of this contract is an important step along the road to the development of a fusion reactor,” said Greg Willetts, Director of AMEC’s Consultancy Services business. “Our role will be to verify and provide technical design expertise in the fabrication, manufacturing and testing of a First Wall panel using our unrivalled knowledge of hot isostatic pressing of metals which we have developed during the last decade.”
Francesco Zacchia, Blanket Module Responsible Officer at F4E said: “This contract represents an essential step towards our final goal to fabricate the First Wall panels for ITER. We are looking forward to AMEC, Iberdrola and MIB solving the challenging manufacturing issues and to delivering on time with the expected high quality.”
Marcos Pérez, Technical Director of Leading Enterprises Group, of which MIB is part, said: “This project is of particular importance for MIB, since it allows us to apply our expertise in advanced precision machining in a new market sector, nuclear fusion.”