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L&T dispatches first consignment of ITER Cryostat

Mumbai, Oct 19 : L&T Heavy Engineering on Monday said it has successfully flagged off its first consignment of Cryostat, part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) fusion reactor facility being built at Cadarache in South of France.

This is the first HEL (Heavy Exceptional Load) consignment of ITER program being dispatched to France with a total consignment weight of 460 MT. When complete, ITER will be the world’s largest experimental facility to demonstrate the scientific and technical feasibility of fusion power.

An international collaborative project, ITER involves “in-kind” contributions from seven member entities viz., European Union, India, China, Japan, S. Korea, Russia and USA. ITER India, which is a part of the Institute for Plasma Research (a DAE Unit) located at Gandhinagar, Gujarat, is the nodal agency responsible for the Indian portion of the project, which awarded L&T the contract for manufacturing the Cryostat.

The fully welded biggest cylindrical vacuum/pressure chamber the Cryostat is designed with an overall dimension of 29.3 meter diameter, 29.6 meter height and a finished weight of 3850 metric tonnes. Built from stainless steel, its thicknesses ranges from 50 mm to 250 mm. The major forgings for the cryostat segment were indigenously made and supplied by L&T Special Steel and Heavy Forgings (LTSSHF) – JV with NPCIL.

Manufacturing of the Cryostat is planned in three phases. In view of the very large dimensions involved, the cryostat is being fabricated in different segments at L&T’s Hazira facility in the first phase and is to be dispatched in 50 different modules to France. This consignment marks the dispatch of the first module. For Cryostat fabrication, advanced, specially developed, automated, all-position narrow groove gas tungsten arc welding technique is deployed at the L&T factory.

In the second phase, module pre-assembly will be done at site workshop at Cadarache, already constructed by L&T and handed over to ITER in November 2014. The third phase involves final assembly of the Cryostat where the installation will be done at the Tokomak Reactor Hall.

The successful dispatch of the first segments is a testimony to L&T‘s proven capability in hi-tech manufacturing and highlights India’s growing prominence in nuclear sector.

“We at L&T are committed and proud to contribute to the development of this futuristic source of energy,” commented S.N. Roy, Whole-Time Director & Sr. Executive Vice President on the occasion.

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