Carlo Sborchia is the Head of the Vessel Division at the ITER Organization since November 2012. He is responsible for the design and procurement of the Vacuum Vessel and its Pressure Suppression System, Cryostat, Thermal Shields and In-Vessel Coils. A graduate in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Pisa, he has worked in the field of thermonuclear fusion since 1988, first at the JET project, then joined the ITER Engineering Design Activities in 1993 with the main responsibility to follow the design and R&D activities of the superconducting magnets. Following a spell at the W7-X project as leader of the magnet group of a German stellarator, he has managed the activities of the superconducting magnets at the European Domestic Agency for ITER in Barcelona from 2008 till 2012.
The ITER Project aims to demonstrate the feasibility to generate fusion energy from thermonuclear plasmas. In order to achieve this goal, an international collaboration between seven Parties has been established and, following about 15 years of engineering design and development, the establishment of an international organization and preparation for construction have been started in 2007 at a site located in Cadarache (France). This is the largest scientific and technological collaboration ever established in the world. The baseline design has been approved in 2010 and construction has started in 2012. The machine requires very advanced components and challenging technologies: thermonuclear energy from the plasma can only be achieved with the use of very large and high field superconducting magnets, large vacuum vessel and cryostat and the use of several additional heating systems. Sophisticated high heat flux components are required to withstand the thermal loads from the plasma. Nuclear reactions produce additional heat loading and activation on the core components, thus requiring the use of remote maintenance during active operation. The vacuum vessel and other components, which are part of the primary confinement boundary, need to be designed and constructed according to the safety regulations of the French nuclear authorities and the RCC-MR code. The presentation will give an overview of the status of the project, providing a description of the engineering challenges, the status of the design activities, fabrication of components procured in-kind by the seven Parties and on-site activities for the construction of the buildings and preparation for assembly and commissioning. The current schedule to completion and operation will also be presented.