Cocoon has acquired a very special project. Our team will be collaborating on a major project of ITER, an institution that is constructing the largest nuclear fusion reactor on earth in France. A “tokamak” will serve to educate us more on how we can generate energy in an environmentally friendly and profitable way. A tokamak you say? So what will Cocoon do exactly? We are delighted to describe this special project to you.

What is ITER doing exactly?

ITER, a large multinational, is constructing an immense installation: the tokamak. The whole project is an ultimate test to see if it is possible to deal with the world’s big energy demand by means of nuclear fusion.  The intention is not to achieve profitability at the moment. ITER would like to learn from the mistakes and successes of this project, in order to construct a larger tokamak in future stages that will be commercially viable. What about that tokamak? Tokamaks have been built for a long time, but ITER is innovating the current status quo by upscaling the proportions in a major way. The purpose of this enormous device is to obtain a very large fusion. 50 mega Watt at the input should be able to generate 500 mega Watt at the output. With such a merger temperatures will rise to 150 – 160 million degrees Celsius. A tokamak is constructed in such a way that this temperature is kept at a distance from the walls, enabling such an extreme temperature to be achieved.

Large, larger, largest: 36 countries and 43 years

No country can afford a project of this magnitude on its own, therefore cooperation is essential. No less than 36 countries are joining forces on this project, including Russia, America, China, Japan, Korea and many countries in Europe. A huge project with a very attractive goal: to solve the energy problem in the world in an environmentally friendly way. And Cocoon is contributing to this vision! ITER started building the tokamak in 2007. At the moment they are halfway through the construction process. It is expected that in 2031 the first ordinary plasma can enter, after which two years will be trial run. Then the nuclear plasma enters, after which nuclear fusion will take place. A considerable time for testing will take place: 16 to 18 years. So in 2050 we will have our answer: is this device suitable for solving the energy problem in the world? If so, they will continue to build a commercial version.

The special role of Cocoon: preserving the cryostats

Cryostat: one of the main components of the tokamak. (Have a closer look at the Cryostats: click here) These components have already been completed, but are scheduled to be installed in another five years. So the question arises: how do you preserve cylinders with a diameter of 30 meters, a height of 12 meters and a weight of 800 tons? Cocoon has the perfect solution for that: mothballing. Cocoon commences work in August 2018. We are going to equip the cylinders with our mothballing technique. We apply a special foil that is airtight and resistant to all weather conditions. Rust and mold do not stand a chance. With this technique we can reduce the humidity to 38% and at such a low humidity the materials remain intact and preserved. In 20 to 30 years the materials will still look as good as new. We are naturally very honored to have been selected to participate in such a project of this magnitude in collaboration with a major institute like ITER, and look forward to going to France. We will keep you informed of the progress. Do you want to know more about the tokamak and the science of nuclear fusion? Check out the ITER website.

Curious as to what Cocoon’s services entail?

This remarkable project from ITER is just one of the many that Cocoon has engaged in. We specialize in the preservation of materials, so that corrosion and mold do not stand a chance. For major projects such as these, but also for smaller projects. Would you like more information about Cocoon? Contact us or visit our website.