In early December Thierry Cerisier, the Technical Responsible Officer for the Port Plug Test Facility project of the ITER Organization, attended the production site of the “NPO “GKMP” LLC where the first vacuum trial test of the Test Stand No. 4 took place.
On the photo: NPO GKMP LLC team headed by Thierry Cerisier, the PPTF Technical Responsible Officer of the ITER Organization (at left center), and Director of the ITER Project Office Olesya Solovyeva (at right center)
It is to recall that in 2021-2022 the ITER Organization officially acknowledged that the Russian production site is ready to manufacture the Test Stand subsystems to test Port Plugs for the international thermonuclear reactor ITER. In Russia one manufactures the Port Plugs, as well as the facility designed to test all Port Plugs manufactured by ITER partner countries prior to the mounting.
In early 2022 the “NPO “GKMP” LLC and the Russian Domestic Agency - ITER-Center entered into an agreement for development project and experimental manufacturing of vacuum stand components designed to test the ITER Equatorial and Upper Port Plugs. This is the third thermonuclear contract the company entered into but definitely not the last one.
On the photo: the Test Tank and PPTF Handling System
The scope of works includes factory acceptance tests of the non-nuclear Stand No. 4 in the clean room and preparation for delivery to the ITER site, as well as manufacturing and testing of the next Test Stand No. 3 components to be delivered to the European Domestic Agency.
On the photo: Test Tank control cabinet
The first of four test facilities shall be delivered in 2023-2024 after several inspections to be made by European Notified Body and planned for 2023. Currently the “NPO “GKMP” LLC performs the most intensive production stage and tests of the non-nuclear Port Plug Test Facility (PPTF). Production and testing shall take place as per approved schedule.
In order to check the readiness of the non-nuclear Test Stand No. 4, the first test campaign has been carried out: the vacuum conditions inside the Test Tank were simulated to be as close as possible to the real ones relevant for a Port Plug under test. This first and crucial stage of the testing is to confirm that there is no leakage whatsoever inside the Test Tank, including those related to the welded seams, as well as smooth operation of vacuum pumps and other auxiliary hardware.
On the photo: assembly of the Test Tank in the clean room at the “NPO” GKMP” LLC premises
While visiting, the PPTF Technical Responsible Officer of ITER Organization, Thierry Cerisier, especially noted the good production speed of the Test Stand No.4 within 2021-2022, as well as the technical readiness and properly fitted clean room at the “NPO” GKMP” LLC premises, all necessary to perform the first scheduled testing of the non-nuclear PPTF.
On the photo: turbomolecular pumps with the valve dn 250 and forevacuum gauges on the Test Tank nozzle
As the Director of the ITER Project Office, Olesya Solovyeva, explained, “after many years of paper work the first trial vacuum tests finally showed that the tasks set are achievable and are not too challenging for the corporate team. The first trial vacuum tests are a matter of special pride for the “GKMP”. This means that the company confirmed its position as a leader in the vacuum and non-standard equipment industry in Russia.”
* ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) – the project of the world’s first international thermonuclear experimental reactor manufactured jointly by the international community, located in Provence (France) near Marseille. The objective of the project is to demonstrate scientific and technological feasibility to use thermonuclear energy on industrial scale, as well as to qualify related technological processes.
*PPTF - Port Plug Test Facility
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