L&T Heavy Engineering announced that the installation of the 1250t Cryostat base into a Reactor building of International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), a nuclear fusion demonstration project under construction in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance in southern France.

Manufactured by L&T Heavy Engineering, the cryostat forms the vacuum-tight container that surrounds the reactor vacuum vessel and the superconducting magnets. It acts essentially as a very large refrigerator.

ITER director-general Dr Bernard Bigot said: “We thank L&T for the timely deliveries, in the current difficult circumstances, of the Cryostat base alignment tool & shims which are critical to install cryostat base, as brilliantly manufactured by L&T since 2015.

“This installation into the ITER Tokamak building is a significant activity for other downstream activities to achieve the mission for a First Plasma as soon as possible by the end of 2025.

“This could have been possible, amidst COVID-19 lockdown period, only due to the extraordinary dedicated efforts of L&T team and invaluable support of the Indian government authorities. L&T has always been a trusted partner in meeting the goals of ITER.”

L&T already delivered the lower cylinder of the cryostat in March 2019

In March 2019, L&T already delivered the lower cylinder of the cryostat and upper cylinder in March 2020.

The firm is planning to dispatch the final part, the top lid sectors from Hazira in July 2020. The deliveries are part of a contract awarded to L&T Heavy Engineering Business in 2012.

ITER India, a wing of Department of Atomic Energy, is responsible for the overall in-charge of the Indian participation for the nuclear fusion project.

L&T Heavy Engineering executive vice-president and head Anil Parab said: “ITER is a first of its kind futuristic global project.

“The cryostat is the largest vacuum vessel ever built with 29.4 meters in diameter, 29 meters in height weighing 3,850 MT.”

The project, involves participation from seven countries, will generate 500MW of fusion power with an input heating power of 50MW.