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First ITER Gravity Support Cooling System Completed Helium Leak Test

An expert panel from the China International Nuclear Fusion Energy Program Execution Center (CNDA), the Southwest Institute of Physics (SWIP) and the ITER Organization witnessed the completion of helium leak test for the first set of gravity support (GS) system in Guizhou Aerospace Xinli Forging and Casting Co., Ltd. on December 19 to 21 of 2016.

Of the magnet support module manufacturing tasks related to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) undertaken by China, the GS modules of all 18 sets of ITER toroidal field coils are made by Guizhou Aerospace Xinli Forging and Casting Co., Ltd. In 2016, with the strong support and coordination of CNDA and SWIP, the company overcame various difficulties such as non-finalized ITER blueprints and complex cooling system designs, actively conducted R&D of process technologies, advanced the manufacturing of ITER magnet support modules and successfully completed the manufacturing of the components required for the first GS set. In early December, the company finished the pressure test, liquid penetration test, visual test and size inspection of the 21 sets of cooling pipe-flexible plate assemblies required for the first GS set in accordance with the requirements of the Mandatory Inspection Program (MIP). A thermal shock test was added to the product to further check the strength and reliability of the cooling pipe-elastic plate assembly welded seams in an environment of alternating temperature changes from room temperature to -196℃ (-320.8℉). After the helium leak test, all components required for the GS module were found to fully meet ITER’s technical requirements, and relevant key control points were confirmed and approved by the three parties on the spot. The first GS module is expected to enter its first assembly process in January 2017.