Press release

ITER Project: the impressive magnet is leaving from the ASG factory, La Spezia (ITALY), to go through the final manufacturing steps


Genoa - La Spezia 20 November 2017 - Today, the world's most sophisticated magnet has departed from the ASG factory, La Spezia, in order to be delivered to Marghera, where it will go through the final manufacturing steps. The component weighs 120 tonnes, and it measures 9m wide and 16m high. It will be transported by a truck to the harbour in order to reach the port of Marghera. After the “casing” phase is completed it will head to its final destination, Cadarache (France) - the site of the ITER project. The aim of the ITER project is to test the feasibility of fusion energy (for more information, see the ITER press release Powerful magnetic fields created by TF coils will play a key role in confining the super-hot plasma reaching 150 million °C. The magnets are the result of accurate design and manufacturing, combining robotised and computerised machining with limited manual intervention. Fusion for Energy (F4E), the European Union organisation responsible for Europe’s contribution to ITER, has financed these components. At least 26 companies, counting more than 600 employees, have been involved in their fabrication. A superconducting cable of 5.5 km length has been used to manufacture this first magnet. This special cable has undergone various fabrication procedures using state-of-the-art robotics such as automated welding, up to "vacuum chamber" testing phases so as to check the high quality of the component under operating conditions. The coil contains superconductive cables, made by the Italian Consortium for Applied Superconductivity (ICAS), coordinated by ENEA, and involving the Italian companies Criotec Impianti and the TRATOS Cavi. The steel plates, where the superconductive cable is inserted, have been manufactured by CNIM and SIMIC. The winding of the conductor and the manufacturing of the entire magnet has been carried out by ASG, Iberdrola Ingeniería y Construcción and Elytt for a cost of 158 million EUR awarded by F4E. Alessandro Bonito Oliva, Head of Magnets for F4E, explains that: “the departure of Europe’s first magnet from the ASG factory is a milestone of symbolic importance. This factory has been its “home” during the last five years. Various companies and their workforces have been daily working to reach this objective and I am proud to say that we are entering into the final manufacturing stage. Congratulations to all!” ASG Superconductors Chairman and Shareholder Davide Malacalza said “our company collaborates daily with the leading companies in the industry as well as with the main scientific research institutes and centers like CERN, ENEA, INFN, Fermilab, GSI and working for the ITER Project with F4E is another example of a virtuous partnership between the public and private sectors” ASG Superconductors CEO Sergio Frattini said "Today an impressive magnet left our factory and confirms our leading position among the world leaders in the sector of superconducting magnets. We are extremely proud of the work we have put in collaboration with other companies. Thank you to all the people who worked for it. As we still have to deliver 9 more magnets by 2019, we can’t stop working and some of the 9 units are already at the final phases of the manufacturing." ASG Superconductors, a Malacalza Family company, was established in 2001, following the privatization of the magnets unit of the Ansaldo industrial group. It has been involved in all the main international projects in the fields of nuclear fusion, high energy physics and research applications. The company collaborates daily with Italian research institutes (ENEA, INFM, INFN) and international (CERN, KIT, FERMILAB, GSI) as well as providing superconducting magnets for medical applications and applications in the energy sector. Fusion for Energy Fusion for Energy (F4E) is the European Union’s organisation for Europe’s contribution to ITER. One of the main tasks of F4E is to work together with European industry, SMEs and research organisations to develop and provide a wide range of high technology components together with engineering, maintenance and support services for the ITER project. F4E supports fusion R&D initiatives through the Broader Approach Agreement signed with Japan and prepares for the construction of demonstration fusion reactors (DEMO). F4E was created by a decision of the Council of the European Union as an independent legal entity and was established in April 2007 for a period of 35 years. Its offices are in Barcelona, Spain.


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