National Technical Systems, Inc. (“NTS”), the leading independent provider of qualification testing, inspection, and certification solutions in North America, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded multiple contracts to test critical components on the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the world’s largest fusion reactor.
The ITER project is a joint international research collaboration with the United States, China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the European Union. The project involves a magnetic fusion device, which is designed to generate an unprecedented amount of energy, making it the first reactor in the world to produce net energy. The demonstration facility has started assembly in St.-Paul-lez-Durance, France, with initial operations planned for 2025. When complete, ITER will be the largest fusion experimental reactor in the world and is designed to demonstrate 500 MW of fusion power.
Considered one of the most complex engineering endeavors in history, millions of components supplied by seven international partners will be used to assemble the 23,000-ton, ten-story tall fusion reactor. Nearly 3,000 tons of superconducting magnets, some heavier than a jumbo jet and powerful enough to lift an aircraft carrier, will be connected by 200km of superconducting cables. The project involves the world’s largest cryogenic plants will be used to keep the components at -269 C. Fusion is an attractive potential energy source: Fusion reactions do not produce climate-warming carbon dioxide, cannot meltdown, and produce a limited amount of short-lived radioactive waste. The world is eagerly anticipating the advancement of a path to practical fusion energy as an innovative solution for sustainable carbon free energy.
Two crucial manufacturers to the ITER initiative, Hayward Tyler, Inc. and Vacuum Technology, Inc., chose NTS to provide qualification testing of critical components in support of US ITER. Hayward Tyler’s Canned-Motor Pumps and Vacuum Technology’s Cryogenic Guard Vacuum System Pump Stations are critical components to the innovative engineering design of ITER. These vital components will go through rigorous Nuclear Equipment Qualification Testing, which includes radiation aging, seismic testing, thermal aging and analysis, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) testing. All testing protocol will be in conformance with the NTS’s Huntsville 10 CFR 50 Appendix B Quality Assurance Program.
NTS’s Huntsville laboratory, one of the company’s 28 labs in North America, has a long history supporting qualification of components utilized in nuclear power plants worldwide and in DOE facilities in the US. As an innovation leader in nuclear testing, NTS has always been at the forefront in validating and certifying new technologies across many sectors. “NTS is proud to continue in its 60-year innovation heritage and be integrally involved with this momentous scientific endeavor for the nuclear science community”, said Tom Boonarkat, Nuclear Equipment Qualification Manager at NTS.
“The qualification and testing of hardware for nuclear power plants is unique, extensive, and complicated; and is a mandatory, critical step in delivering the safest and most reliable systems for energy production. NTS is one of a select few companies that is trusted to test the nuclear components and hardware needed for nuclear energy production,” said Jeffrey Belotti, Business Development Manager, Hayward Tyler, Inc.
“As a trusted partner, we can confidently turn to NTS to perform the world’s most complex nuclear testing. We’re excited to work with NTS on ITER, the world’s most ambitious energy project,” said Jason Alfrey, ASNT NDT Level III, Leak Testing, Sales & Technical Director, Product Development, Sales, and Support Team, at Vacuum Technology, Inc.
“NTS’s Huntsville Laboratory is a massive test facility with advanced dynamics, environmental, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, and testing capabilities. Regarded as NTS’s Nuclear Center of Excellence, the laboratory is used to meet the most extreme testing challenges for military, aviation, and space programs. “We are delighted to continue in the 60-year history commitment to our customers to ensure the best test experience possible,” said Gary Dennis, Operations Manager, at NTS Huntsville.
About National Technical Systems
National Technical Systems, Inc. (NTS) is the leading provider of qualification testing, inspection, and certification services in North America, serving a broad range of industries, including the civil aviation, space, defense, nuclear, telecommunications, industrial, electronics, medical, and automotive end markets. Since 1961, NTS has built the broadest geographic presence in the United States, offering more than 70 distinct environmental simulation and materials testing categories, including climatic, structural, dynamics, fluid flow, EMI/EMC, lightning, product safety, acoustics, failure analysis, chemical, and other industry-specific tests.
Operating through a network of more than 28 technologically advanced testing laboratories, this geographically diverse footprint puts NTS facilities in close proximity to its more than 8,000 clients, allowing NTS to serve the nation’s most innovative companies with industry-leading accessibility and responsiveness. NTS is accredited by numerous national and international organizations and operates its inspection division under the Unitek brand, providing a wide range of supply chain management services. NTS’ certification division, which operates under the NQA brand, is one of the largest and most respected global ISO registrars, with active certifications in more than 75 countries. For additional information about NTS, visit our website at www.nts.com