Status of Conductor Qualification for the ITER Central Solenoid
The ITER central solenoid (CS) must be capable of driving inductively 30 000 15 MA plasma pulses with a burn duration of 400 s. This implies that during the lifetime of the machine, the CS, comprised of six independently powered coil modules, will have to sustain severe and repeated electromagnetic cycles to high current and field conditions. The design of the CS calls for the use of cable-in-conduit conductors made up of Nb3Sn and pure copper strands, assembled in a five-stage, rope-type cable around a central cooling spiral that is inserted into a circle-in-square jacket made up of a special grade of high manganese stainless steel. Since Nb3Sn cable-in-conduit conductors are known to exhibit electromagnetic cycling degradation, prior to the launch of production, the conductor design and potential suppliers must be qualified through the successful testing of full-size conductor samples. These tests are carried out at the SULTAN test facility. In this paper, we report the results of the on-going CS conductor performance qualification and we present the options under consideration for the different modules constituting the CS coil.