TVEL JSC and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) have signed an R&D Agreement on the Future Circular Collider (FCC) Study. The document is an addendum to the existing agreement between the parties, aimed at cooperation in the field of superconducting materials (SCM).
The Chepetsky Mechanical Plant (an enterprise of the TVEL Fuel Company in Glazov, Republic of Udmurtia), has agreed to manufacture a selection of superconducting niobium-tin wire, which CERN will then analyse to assess the qualifications of TVEL as a SCM supplier.
A key element of the Future Circular Collider is the accelerator magnet system. The FCC will be built in Switzerland to replace the Large Hadron Collider, enabling scientists to continue their fundamental research on elementary particle physics. The huge size of the FCC (the circumference of which is up to 100 kilometers) will require a significant amount of superconducting strands. These can only be produced through the joint efforts of countries already versed in such technology (TVEL specialists estimate that the need for superconductors in the FCC will increase existing global Nb3Sn production capacities).
Wire development for the project is underway in the USA, Europe, South Korea, Japan and China. The construction developer for the niobium-tin superconductors in Russia is TVEL’s Bochvar Institute of Inorganic Materials and the production site is the Chepetsky Mechanical Plant. Production of low-temperature SCM was established in Glazov due to Russia’s participation in the construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in France. Between 2009 and 2014, the plant produced over 200 tonnes, or 61,000 km, of low-temperature superconductors for ITER.
“TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom has sufficient scientific and manufacturing potential, as well as accumulated experience, to create a wire, meeting CERN’s technical requirements. In addition to niobium-tin wires, we are also planning to supply niobium-titanium wires and extra-pure resonant niobium - important to the Future Circular Collider in the manufacture of supplementary devices,” said Konstantin Vergazov, the Senior Vice President for R&D, technology and quality of TVEL JSC.
Applied superconductivity is one of TVEL JSC’s strategic priorities in the development of non-nuclear technologies. Not only are SCM necessary in fundamental science projects, but they are also indispensable in the development of modern medical equipment (such as MRI) and have prospects for widespread use in electrical and power engineering. The key priority in the advancement of superconductivity technologies is the development of high-temperature superconductors, the use of which have the potential to significantly improve performance characteristics of electric power applications.
TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom includes enterprises for nuclear fuel fabrication, conversion and enrichment of uranium, production of gas centrifuges, as well as research and development organizations. TVEL is the only supplier of nuclear fuel to Russian NPPs. TVEL Fuel Company provides nuclear fuel to 75 power reactors in 14 countries, research reactors in 8 countries as well as transport reactors of the Russian nuclear fleet. One in six power reactors in the world runs on TVEL's fuel. www.tvel.ru
CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) is an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is engaged in fundamental elementary particles research. The scientific laboratory CERN, founded in 1954, is the parent organization for the implementation of the FCC project. https://home.cern/