The heavy engineering arm of Larsen & Toubro, has flagged-off the most complex and final assembly of Cryostat, the largest stainless-steel, high-vacuum pressure chamber in the world. This is an important milestone in the global nuclear fusion arena as well as a moment of pride for the Make in India initiative.
Commenting on this occasion, Dr. Bernard Bigot, Director-General, ITER organization said, “Today, in Hazira, we celebrate with you the completion of fabrication of all the segments of the Cryostat, including most recently the segments of the Cryostat Lid - again achieved under these challenging conditions. The ITER Project and ITER-India were very fortunate to have Larsen & Toubro as our partner and the primary contractor for Cryostat fabrication…(as) the challenge of the Cryostat was unique.”
Commenting on this achievement, SN Subrahmanyan, CEO & MD, L&T said, “This is a proud moment for the company, as it has completed another milestone in the development of world’s largest stainless-steel, high-vacuum pressure chamber. The company has used innovative and digital manufacturing techniques to ensure uninterrupted supply of high- quality, high-precision assemblies to ITER. This will further pave a way for the installation of Cryostat at the project site in France and eventually lead to the demonstration of large-scale feasibility of fusion power. It has empowered India to tread towards Atma Nirbhar Bharat by acquiring knowledge in this highly specialised field of science and technology.”
The Cryostat assembly referred as the Top Lid, weighing 650 MT (metric tons), is to be installed with other Cryostat segments for ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) in a Reactor pit in southern France. L&T has already delivered the Base section, the Lower Cylinder and the Upper Cylinder for the Cryostat. The Cryostat’s function is to provide cooling to the fusion reactor and to keep very high temperatures at its core under control.
Anil V Parab, Executive Vice President and Head, L&T Heavy Engineering said “With the supply of the Top Lid sector, we have successfully completed our India scope of the project ahead of the schedule. The fabrication of these components has been an engineering marvel both in terms of its massive size and its stringent quality standards. This is a proud moment for L&T Heavy Engineering, which is showcasing Indian capabilities in the high technology arena at the global stage.”
The project scope for L&T Heavy Engineering is divided into three aspects. Firstly, the company was to manufacture assemblies at its state-of-the-art Hazira manufacturing complex. The second aspect involved constructing a temporary workshop at the project site in Cadarache, France for the assembly of various sectors. And finally, it is to integrate the Cryostat with the Tokamak Reactor building. With this flag-off, L&T Heavy Engineering has completed the manufacturing work planned in India.
L&T’s Heavy Engineering business won this prestigious contract from ITER India, a wing of Department of Atomic Energy, for the ambitious mega scientific project, conducted in collaboration of seven elite countries including India and with a project outlay of around $20 billion.
The virtual flag-off ceremony at Hazira manufacturing complex was attended by officials from Niti Ayog, ITER India, ITER global, DAE, Rajiv Gandhi Science & Technology Commission, NPCIL, AERB and BARC joining through digital platforms.