On the 13th of February, the EU launched a contract to build a full size prototype ITER cryogenic vacuum pump. After a competitive tendering process the Dutch company DeMaCo was awarded the contract. DeMaCo’s cooperation with EFDA and the German association in Karlsruhe (FZK) is based on its long-lasting experience in Cryo and Vacuum Technology.

The ITER machine will contain ten such cryo-pumps. They will produce the vacuum necessary to operate the torus and the cryostat. The ITER torus pumps are unique in that together they must function in a fast cyclic mode, continuously pumping the exhaust of the burning plasma, including the helium produced as a result of fusion. The pump will take 18 months to build and will undergo a period of vigorous testing. This prototype will hence enable validation of the design and fabrication methods prior to procuring the main batch of 10 pumps for ITER.