Central Solenoid in ITER Fusion Reactor Has the Magnetic Power to Lift an Aircraft Carrier

USS Harry S Truman

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is the eighth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, named after the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman. The ship’s callsign is Lone Warrior, and she is currently homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. ITER’s Central Solenoid will have the magnetic power to lift an aircraft carrier.

Manufactured by the United States, the Central Solenoid is the most powerful of ITER’s magnets. It is sometimes called the “beating heart” of ITER because it will initiate a powerful current in the plasma in long pulses.

The Central Solenoid (see video below) is being fabricated in six modules. When combined, it will be 13 meters (43‘) tall or 18 meters (59’) with the support structure and will weigh one thousand tons.

It will have the magnetic power to lift an aircraft carrier.

The independently operating CS coil packs will create massive electromagnetic forces that pull in different directions. The support structures will have to withstand forces equal to twice the thrust of a Space Shuttle lift-off.

The first CS module will arrive at ITER in Fall 2020.

Central Solenoid ITER Tokamak

The central solenoid is at the heart of the ITER tokamak. It both initiates plasma current and drives and shapes the plasma during operation. Credit: US ITER

The US is responsible for 100% of the central solenoid (CS) magnet, including design, R&D, fabrication of 7 CS modules using supplied conductor (from Japan), associated structure, assembly tooling, bus extensions, and cooling connections.

The central solenoid serves as the backbone of the ITER magnet system. The CS induces the majority of the magnetic flux change needed to initiate the plasma, generate the plasma current, and maintain this current during the burn time. The CS is made of six independent coil packs that use a niobium-tin (Nb3Sn) cable-in-conduit superconducting conductor, held together by a vertical pre-compression structure. The conductor will be produced in unit lengths up to 910 m. The US is responsible for the 6 modules of the CS, a spare module, and the structure that ties them together and links these modules to the rest of the magnet system.

Read more: ITER Assembly Begins – World’s Largest Science Project to Replicate the Fusion Power of the Sun.

7 Comments on "Central Solenoid in ITER Fusion Reactor Has the Magnetic Power to Lift an Aircraft Carrier"

  1. Vernon Brechin | July 31, 2020 at 11:10 am | Reply

    Typically, fusion energy articles are derived from press releases and are promotional in nature. This article is a good example of that. Here is another side of the story that the vast majority of fusion fans have no interest in.

    ITER is a showcase … for the drawbacks of fusion energy

  2. Good read. Fusion power is the future.

  3. I liek turtles

  4. Bob Ross fellates turtle heads

  5. AB (no not Antonio Beown) | August 2, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Reply

    So its like a switch turning the sun on/off. Is it a dimmer, 3 way, colors, wifi enabled?

  6. ur mom

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