ITER: Fusion Reactor

ITER Fusion Reactor - An Extremely Complex Machine Magnetic and Structural Analysis with ANSYS


The International Thermo-nuclear Experimental reac-tor (ITER) is the first pro-totype fusion reactor to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibil-ity of fusion energy for peaceful purpose. One of the many technical chal-lenges in this extremely complex machine is to confine a plasma of a few million degrees Celsius (°C) within a magnetic confinement (Tokamak concept) created by superconducting magnets, operated at -269 °C, orders of magnitude: total mass of abt. 23 thousand tons, output power 500 MW. Mass of one toroidal field coil (TF-Coil) of 360 tons, which is equal to the take-off weight of a Boeing 747.

Because of its flexibility and efficiency, the ANSYS fi-nite element program is used within the ITER project for engineering design activities and to follow up the procurement arrangements in terms of mechanical (linear and non-linear), thermal, dynamic, and electro-magnetic analyses. One simulation task is the design of the joint region of the TF-Coil. Lorentz forces on the conductors cause high stress to the supporting struc-ture. Structural assessment of the joint region (e.g. bolts, housing) is necessary.

ITER: Fusion Reactor
Sectional view of ITER fusion reactor


  • Set up of an electromagnetic model for the analy-sis of the magnetic field and transfer of Lorentz forces onto the nonlinear structural model consid-ering contact and large deformations.
  • Evaluation of the deformations and performing a static and fatigue assessment based on special criteria.

Customer Benefit

  • Efficient process of load transfer from the magnet-ic field computation of the complete coil system to the detailed model of the joint region.
  • Static and fatigue assessment based on their own criteria for several components, such as conductor and bolted connections.
ITER: Fusion Reactor
Electromagnetic model of super-conducting coil system
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