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Fusion and cryogenics for the KSTAR project in Korea

  • Science

Air Liquide Advanced Technologies has just started up in Korea a 9 kW helium refrigerator at 4.5 K.

The South Korean K S T A R ( K o r e a n S u p e r c o n d u c t i n g Tokamak Advanced Research) civil nuclear fusion pilot reactor, which uses superconductivity to create the conditions necessary for fusion, actually needs a great deal of cold, at a temperature close to absolute zero.
And it is precisely for the purposes of obtaining significant cold power that Advanced Technologies has just started up in Korea a 9 kW helium refrigerator at 4.5 K, complete with distribution system, compression station, liquid and gaseous helium storage units, helium recovery system, purifier and control system etc. “We have already proved on site that our refrigerator was well able to reach the levels of temperature required,” stress Jérôme Beauvisage and Frédéric Andrieu, Advanced Technologies project managers, “and we are currently adjusting our equipment with a view to achieving this performance. The project was complex, not only because of the distance between Sassenage and the Korean customer, but also because a good 30 sub-assemblies of very different size had to be connected up on the customer site.” To smooth out the difficulties, Advanced Technologies lost no time in sending out two monitoring teams – managed by Stéphane Desambrois for the installation and by Eric Fauve for the start-up – who spent several months on site. “We are eagerly looking forward to July so that we can finally participate in the KSTAR start-up”. 

Also this summer the ICEC (International Cryogenic Engineering Conference) keynote conference on cryogenics will take place at Seoul in Korea, and this will be a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the KSTAR cryogenic facilities to scientists from around the world.

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