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ITER's Tokamak Cooling Water System and the Use of ASME Codes to Comply with French Regulations for Nuclear Pressure Equipment

Jeanette Berry, Juan Ferrada, Seokho Kim, Warren Curd, Giovanni Dell'Orco, Vladimir Barabash

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 60 / Number 1 / Pages 87-94

July 2011


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During inductive plasma operation of ITER, fusion power will reach 500 MW with an energy multiplication factor of 10. The heat will be transferred by the Tokamak Cooling Water System (TCWS) to the environment using the secondary cooling system. Plasma operations are inherently safe even under the most severe postulated accident condition - a large, in-vessel break that results in a loss-of-coolant accident. A functioning cooling water system is not required to ensure safe shutdown.

Even though ITER is inherently safe, TCWS equipment (e.g., heat exchangers, piping, pressurizers) are classified as safety important components. This is because the water is predicted to contain low-levels of radionuclides (e.g., activated corrosion products, tritium) with activity levels high enough to require the design of components to be in accordance with French regulations for nuclear pressure equipment, i.e., the French Order dated 12 December 2005 (ESPN). ESPN has extended the practical application of the methodology established by the Pressure Equipment Directive (97/23/EC) to nuclear pressure equipment, under French Decree 99-1046 dated 13 December 1999, and Order dated 21 December 1999 (ESP). ASME codes and supplementary analyses (e.g., Failure Modes and Effects Analysis) will be used to demonstrate that the TCWS equipment meets these essential safety requirements.

TCWS is being designed to provide not only cooling, with a capacity of approximately 1 GW energy removal, but also elevated temperature baking of first-wall/blanket, vacuum vessel, and divertor. Additional TCWS functions include chemical control of water, draining and drying for maintenance, and facilitation of leak detection/localization. The TCWS interfaces with the majority of ITER systems, including the secondary cooling system.

U.S. ITER is responsible for design, engineering, and procurement of the TCWS with industry support from an Engineering Services Organization (ESO) (AREVA Federal Services, with support from Northrop Grumman, and OneCIS). ITER–International Organization (ITER-IO) is responsible for design oversight and equipment installation in Cadarache, France. TCWS equipment will be fabricated using ASME design codes with quality assurance and oversight by an Agreed Notified Body (approved by the French regulator) that will ensure regulatory compliance.

This paper describes the TCWS design and how U.S. ITER and fabricators will use ASME codes to comply with EU Directives and French Orders and Decrees.

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