Development of high-current high-field conductors in Europe for fusion application

J.-L. Duchateau, M. Spadoni, E. Salpietro, D. Ciazynski, M. Ricci, P. Libeyre, A. Della Corte

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In the framework of the preparation for the realization of the international thermonuclear experimental reactor (ITER), the construction and test of relevant models of seven different parts of the reactor was decided. Two of them are related to the superconducting coils: the toroidal field model coil (TFMC) and the central solenoid model coil (CSMC). For these superconducting coils, due to the expected high values of the current (≥60 kA) and voltage (≥5 kV with respect to the ground) the adopted technology was that of cable in conduit conductor (CICC). Until recently, little experience of this technology existed. Therefore, an extensive research and development programme has been carried out, in the last 10 years, by the ITER partners and particularly in Europe, to design, industrialize and test these large conductors and their joints. The EURATOM associations CEA and ENEA played a leading part in this phase. The CICC concept is described and the results of the development are presented. About 7 km of conductors were manufactured in the industry and for that more than 10 tonnes of Nb3Sn strands were produced in Europe. In this large programme, Europe is particularly in charge of the TFMC, which will be tested this summer of Forschung Zentrum Karlsruhe (Germany). In the framework of this programme, three full size conductors and joint samples were tested at the European Sultan test facility (Centre de Recherches de Physique des Plasmas, Villigen, Switzerland), to validate the technological choices and check that the ITER specifications were met. The results of these tests are presented in detail. Starting from the strand critical properties, the conductors made of about 1000 strands did reach their expected performance. The joints of these large conductors are very special and delicate components. Their behaviour was quite successful and the joint resistance of these samples (of the order of 1 nΩ) was well within the specifications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
JournalSuperconductor Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Duchateau, J-L., Spadoni, M., Salpietro, E., Ciazynski, D., Ricci, M., Libeyre, P., & Della Corte, A. (2002). Development of high-current high-field conductors in Europe for fusion application. Superconductor Science and Technology, 15(6), -.