London – Amec Foster Wheeler has officially announced that it has been awarded a seven-year contract by Fusion For Energy (F4E), for the development and delivery of the Neutral Beam Cell Remote Handling System on the ITER fusion reactor at Cadarache in the South of France.
The framework contract, worth up to €70 million over the seven years, is the largest nuclear robotics contract so far awarded by F4E to a UK company. It highlights Amec Foster Wheeler’s world-leading expertise in this field and underlines the company’s relationship with F4E as a key player in the development of nuclear fusion on a commercial scale.
“This contract demonstrates our leading expertise in nuclear remote handling and robotics,” said Clive White, President of Amec Foster Wheeler’s Clean Energy Business. “It also highlights the key role we have in the developing future nuclear technologies while continuing to support the existing nuclear fission power industry.”
F4E is the European Union organisation responsible for Europe’s contribution to ITER – the world’s biggest fusion energy project.
F4E acting Director Pietro Barabaschi added: “Thanks to this collaboration, leading innovators will be joining forces to deliver high-end engineering for ITER’s maintenance system and will push forward know-how in robotics, a field with many applications.”
The Remote Handling system in the Neutral Beam Cell is crucial to the success of ITER, the multi-billion pound project that aims to demonstrate the technical feasibility of nuclear fusion as a future power source.
The Neutral Beam injectors are used to heat up the plasma inside the reactor until it is hot enough for fusion to take place; during outages, the complex internal systems of these machines, each the size of a bus, must be maintained, repaired and replaced completely remotely, which is the task of the NB-RHS.
Amec Foster Wheeler will lead the project as prime contractor with specialist sub-contractors, CCFE – Culham Centre for Fusion, the UK’s Fusion National Laboratory, Reel SAS of France, Walischmiller Engineering GmbH of Germany, Hyde Group of UK, Capula of UK, VTT the Technical Research Centre of Finland, TUT – Tampere University of Technology, Finland and “KU Leuven – MAGyICs” of Belgium.