On 28 August 2013, Professor Osamu Motojima, General Director of the International Organization ITER, made a working visit to the Institute of Applied Physics and the Research and Production Enterprise “GYCOM”.
The purpose of Prof. Motojima’s visit was to review the status of the development and manufacture of gyrotrons. These devices are unique sources of electromagnetic radiation and will be used in the ITER facility for plasma heating and generation of d.c. currents ensuring stabilization of possible instabilities and the continuous regime of operation of the ITER fusion reactor.
The list of participants of the working visit included Professor A.B. Alekseev, Deputy General Director of the International Organization ITER, Professor A.V. Krasil’nikov, Director of the ITER Russian Agency, Academician A.G. Litvak, Director of the Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Corresponding Member of RAS G.G. Denisov, Chairman of the Expert Council of GYCOM, E.V. Sokolov, Director of GYCOM, E.M. Tai, Deputy Chairman of GYCOM, Production, specialists of the Russian Atomic Energy Corporation “Rosatom”, and representative of scientific and engineering communities.
A press conference was arranged following the results of the visit.
ITER is an experimental research fusion reactor designed for solving of basic physical and technological problems, which determine the possibility of using controlled fusion for power needs of the mankind. The main advantages of the fusion power engineering are a nearly unlimited resource of the fusion fuel (a mixture of deuterium and tritium) and high radiation safety compared with atomic power.
ITER is the largest international scientific project of all projects, which have been implemented or are being currently implemented. The estimated cost of building it is €15 billion. The international partnership established for creation of the facility includes 7 participants: EU countries acting as a whole, India, China, South Korea, Russia, USA, and Japan. The design of the facility has been finalized already, and the construction has begun. The construction site is the French Nuclear Research Center in Cadarache, near Marseilles. The scheduled end of the construction period is 2017, the facility will be launched and plasma experiments will start in 2021, and the transition to the fusion D-T mixture is planned for 2027.
The project is funded as follows: about 36% of the cost is covered by EU, on whose territory the reactor is built, half as much is paid by Japan, and all other participants invest 9% each. The expenses of the most participants cover mainly the manufacture costs of the components of the unique reactor equipment produced by enterprises of the corresponding countries. The Russian party is responsible for production of 21 units of the advanced technological system of the future facility, including a complex for additional plasma heating and current generation, which will include 24 gyrotrons with the following required parameters: a power of 1 MW, a frequency of 170 MHz, an efficiency of 50%, and a pulse duration of 1000 seconds. The production of the gyrotrons is distributed evenly between companies in EU, Japan, and Russia, who should ensure the manufacture basing on own developments.
Scientists from Nizhny Novgorod have the priority in invention of the gyrotron. Currently, more than half of the active experimental fusion facilities worldwide are equipped with Nizhny Novgorod gyrotrons. However, ITER specifications required a large-scale and rather long development cycle to produce novel devices. The gyrotron prototype developed and manufactured by the partnership of IAP RAS and GYCOM has been tested successfully, which resulted in signing of a contract with the ITER Board of Directors, under which 8 Russian gyrotron complexes with the required special auxiliaries will be delivered. Similar outcomes were achieved by the Japanese scientists from JAERI cooperating with TOSHIBA. The concern of European organizations is so far at the stage of development of gyrotrons for ITER.