Nuclear fusion solutions

Ansaldo Nucleare has been working in the field of fusion for over 40 years, contributing to the development of a fusion-dedicated industrial chain from the very beginning.

Promising to bring the power of the sun to Earth, fusion is one of the nuclear industry’s most important areas of innovation. Europe is playing a key role in ensuring the success of fusion projects like the ITER program and the future DEMO fusion power plant, and Ansaldo Nucleare has been heavily involved from the start.

Ansaldo Nucleare operates in close collaboration with key partners and suppliers, including 40 Italy-based companies, making up one of the most expansive nuclear fusion value chains in Europe.

Supporting fusion at ITER from the very beginning

Since the 90s, Ansaldo Nucleare took part in all the activities involved in the development of ITER, the largest research project on nuclear fusion technology in the world. Now, Ansaldo Nucleare S.p.A. is leading a consortium tasked with supplying five out of nine sectors of the ITER Vacuum Vessel — an important safety component of an extremely challenging size.

Also the leader of the DYNAMIC Consortium, Ansaldo Nucleare S.p.A. is in charge of project management and planning, engineering coordination, and reviewing all documentation. With unprecedented specifications, the project has required specifically developed stainless steel, as well as state-of-the-art joining and NDT technologies.

A history of expertise in fusion

With over 40 years of experience to our name, Ansaldo Nucleare has collaborated on some of the most significant innovation projects in the world of fusion, including:

  • Developing mock-ups for the UK-based JET project
  • Cooperating in the design of ENEA’s Tokamak FTU
  • Developing five out of nine sectors of the ITER vacuum chamber, as well as the qualification of the first prototype of the Inner Vertical Target
  • Designing ITER’s remote maintenance machines, which handle components that weigh several tons and allow safe intervention in environments not accessible to operators.
  • Engineering key auxiliary systems at ITER (such as the Hot Cell Complex Building, the Tokamak Auxiliary Preparation Building and Emergency Electrical Distribution Systems)
  • Leading the DYNAMIC Consortium at ITER, and overseeing the on-site assembly of the Tokamak-TAC2
  • Contributing to the development of the Divertor Tokamak Testing facility in Italy

Our successes in fusion

Ansaldo Nucleare has brought knowledge and expertise to a number of innovative fusion projects across the globe. Take a look at some of our recent milestones below.

Preparing the Vacuum Vessel sectors at ITER (France)

As part of the Tokamak Assembly Works at ITER, specialist engineers from Ansaldo Nucleare S.p.A. welded a total of 1,483 onto the Vacuum Vessel Sector #6 using a cutting edge laser templating technique. Overall, a total of 150,000 attachments will be required to be welded across all nine sectors of the Vacuum Vessel.

Demonstrating the commercial viability of fusion (UK)

Ansaldo Nuclear Ltd is currently working alongside UKAEA (UK Atomic Energy Authority) and partners to support the development of STEP – the first prototype fusion energy plant in the UK. Tasked with producing a ‘concept design’ for STEP by March 2024, the consortium will play a crucial role in demonstrating the commercial viability of fusion energy.

Supporting a world-first fusion research facility (UK)

Since 2021, Ansaldo Nuclear Ltd has been supporting Atkins and partners in the development of UKAEA’s Hydrogen-3 Advanced Technology (H3AT) facility. A world-first, H3AT will study how to process, store and recycle tritium, one of the key fuels which will be used to supply future fusion power stations.

Designing the future of fusion (EU)

In 2014, Eurofusion awarded Ansaldo Nucleare S.p.A. a contract for the concept design of the European Fusion Demonstration Reactor (DEMO) project. Now leading a consortium of fusion experts for the completion of pre-conceptual design activities, our goal is to assess the physics and technology system architecture of nuclear fusion power plants, as well as their overall configuration and system engineering processes.