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French nuclear regulator halts assembly of huge ITER nuclear fusion reactor

French nuclear regulator halts assembly of huge fusion reactor
ITER must satisfy safety concerns before welding reactor vessel
. 24 FEB 2022, BY DANIEL CLERY      France’s nuclear regulator has ordered ITER, an international fusion energy project, to hold off on assembling its gigantic reactor until officials address safety concerns.

This month, the ITER Organization was expecting to get the green light to begin to weld together the 11-meter-tall steel sections that make up the doughnut-shaped reactor, called a tokamak. But on 25 January, France’s Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) sent a letter ordering a stoppage until ITER can address concerns about neutron radiation, slight distortions in the steel sections, and loads on the concrete slab holding up the reactor. ITER staff say they intend to satisfy ASN by April so they can begin to weld the reactor vessel by July. “We’re working very hard for that,” says ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot.


February 26, 2022 - Posted by | France, technology

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