L&T Heavy Engineering – manufactured 1250 MT-Cryostat base, the single largest section of the World’s Largest Nuclear Fusion Reactor, was successfully lifted and placed into a reactor building in France recently, accomplishing a major milestone in the nuclear engineering world.
It will be noteworthy to mention that assembly tools of Cryostat were delivered during the lockdown by the Heavy Engineering arm of Larsen & Toubro to ensure the uninterrupted assembly of Cryostat in reactor pit in southern France. The cryostat forms the vacuum-tight container surrounding the reactor vacuum vessel and the superconducting magnets and acts essentially as a very large refrigerator.
The reactor base, the single largest and heaviest Tokamak component of the world’s largest stainless-steel, high-vacuum, pressure chamber Cryostat, will eventually contain the rest of the reactor.
On this occasion, Dr Bernard Bigot, Director-General, ITER organisation said, “We thank L&T for the timely deliveries, in the current difficult circumstances, of the Cryostat base alignment tool and shims which are critical to installing cryostat base, as brilliantly manufactured by L&T since 2015. This installation into the ITER Tokamak building is a significant activity for other downstream activities to achieve the mission for a First Plasma as soon as possible by the end of 2025. This could have been possible, amidst COVID-19 lockdown period, only due to the extraordinary dedicated efforts of L&T team and invaluable support of the Indian government authorities. L&T has always been a trusted partner in meeting the goals of ITER.”
L&T has also already delivered the Lower Cylinder of the Cryostat in March 2019 and Upper Cylinder in Mar 2020. The final part, the Top Lid Sectors will be dispatched from Hazira in July 2020. The project scope for L&T Heavy Engineering is divided into three parts, firstly manufacturing and shipping of all subassembly sections from L&T Hazira, Gujarat, then constructing a temporary workshop at the project site in France for assembling the cryostat sections into large assemblies and lastly to integrate the cryostat inside the Tokamak Reactor building.
Commenting on the momentous achievement, Anil V Parab, Executive Vice President and Head, L&T Heavy Engineering, said, “ITER is a first of its kind futuristic global project. The cryostat is the largest vacuum vessel ever built with 29.4 meters in diameter, 29 meters in height weighing 3,850 MT. Successful delivery of such complex projects is ingrained in L&T’s culture.”
“We are proud of L&T Heavy Engineering’s Nuclear Team, which is showcasing Indian capabilities, in high technology area at a global stage with pride. This is a testimony of the strong pedigree and world-class manufacturing capabilities of L&T.”
L&T’s Heavy Engineering business won the prestigious contract in 2012. ITER India, a wing of Department of Atomic Energy, is the overall in-charge of the Indian participation for this ambitious mega scientific project.
India is among the seven elite countries funding the $20 bn International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) programme in Cadarache, France. This is one of the world’s largest research project that seeks to demonstrate the scientific and technical feasibility of fusion power.
L&T Heavy Engineering has state-of-the-art, fully integrated, world-class manufacturing facilities at Hazira (Surat), Powai (Mumbai) and Vadodara. The Heavy engineering business of L&T has a proven track record of supplying technology-intensive equipment and systems to global customers in Refinery, Oil & Gas, Petrochemicals, Fertilisers and Nuclear Power industries.