Ensa has participated in a video made by Fusion for Energy , the European Union organization set up to manage Europe’s contribution to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor , which shows the capabilities and contribution of the different European companies currently in different fields in of the design and manufacture of the largest international project for the development of fusion energy.
As the video explains, Ensa’s activity is mainly focused on two work packages: the manufacture of segments for the vacuum vessel sectors and the development of technology for the assembly, as well as the final welding of the reactor sectors in on site.
The sector segments that Ensa is manufacturing for the first order are called PS1 and PS4. The Cantabrian company is responsible for developing the technology, manufacturing, welding and supply of the components for sectors 3, 2 and 9 of the vacuum vessel.
For work related to PS1, there is an external company for electron beam welding of some of the sub-assemblies in Inner Shells such as T-Ribs, Intermodular Keys and Flexible Housings to Inner Shells; key and very precise welds. However, in the PS4 the Cantabrian Company is responsible for the entire cycle of preparation of work related to engineering, technology development, manufacture of parts and delivery.
For the second order, which Ensa has been awarded by the French agency IO , it has produced three 1:1 scale models on which all the processes developed by its engineering during the last 4 years are being validated, including robotic welding and non-destructive tests that will be performed when welding the sectors and ports to build the complete vacuum chamber.
The ITER project is a great opportunity for the nuclear industry. In fact, it is a “first of a kind” project, which means it has its own challenges. That is why Ensa has had to develop its own processes and robotic solutions to be able to face these challenges, among which there are very strict dimensional requirements, very demanding quality standards, the segregation of hardware and materials and special sequences that it has to think about, develop and implement to make sure that they adjust to the high levels that they have to have when they are carried out on the hardware and components.
But in order to be able to face all these challenges, Ensa has its Advanced Technology Center where all the necessary technology is developed, ranging from the hardware, software and methodology to have the precise technique for its successful implementation first in its Maliaño facilities and then in Cadarache when its final assembly is carried out.