ITER (acronym of International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering project, which is currently building the world's largest experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor at the Cadarache facility in the south of France. The ITER project aims to make the long-awaited transition from experimental studies of plasma physics to full-scale electricity-producing fusion power plants. The project is funded and run by seven member entities including the European Union, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea and the United States. The European Union, as host party for the ITER complex, is contributing 45% of the cost, with the other six parties contributing 9% each.
The pre-compression rings (PCRs) of the ITER magnet system will tightly hold the Toroidal Field (TF) coils on top and bottom with a radial force of 7,000 tons per coil. The most suitable material to withstand such high loads and avoid circulation of currents during machine operation is glass-fiber/epoxy composite. The ITER pre-compression rings are possibly the most massive composite structures ever attempted and will be manufactured by EADS CASA Espacio under contract from Fusion for Energy (F4E), European Union’s Joint Undertaking for ITER. IMDEA Materials Institute is another partner in this contract and it is responsible of the simulation of the mechanical behaviour of the pre-compression rings at ambient and operation temperature (4 K) by means of advanced multiscale simulation tools.