« One shot » welding: pushing back the limits !
The Iter nuclear fusion reactor that is being built in Saint-Paullez-Durance (Bouches-du-Rhône, France) is one of the most ambitious international projects in the energy sector. With the aim of ratifying future welding operations on complex-shaped stainless steel pipelines installed in confined areas around the reactor core, Iter commissioned Cetim to validate the considered solutions.
To this end, Cetim’s experts prepared and carried out over one hundred tests on models based on various fit-up strategies while ensuring that any distortions during or after treatment were less than the specified limits.
On the basis of the tests, it was possible to determine and validate the best welding strategy, the welding conditions and the operating limits to be considered for mass production. Further more, by resolving a technical issue related to the welding of components in especially difficult environments, those tests allowed Iter to secure the design and creation of the cooling system.
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