L&T has already delivered 24 parts for the project and is on target to complete its share of the work by the end of 2019

by Manu Pubby

The world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor is on track to go online in France in 2025 with Indian company Larsen and Toubro delivering major components for the international project from its strategic facility in Hazira.

The ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project, for which 35 nations including India, China and the US are collaborating to demonstrate that nuclear fusion can be used as a safe, alternate energy source, will see significant contribution from L&T which says that work on the facility has ensured its entry into a select group of global companies.

As many as 54 segments for the world’s largest fusion device that can generate 500 mw of power are being fabricated in India, including the base of the 3,850-tonne cryostat at the core of the system.

L&T has already delivered 24 parts for the project and is on target to complete its share of the work by the end of 2019, senior company officials told ET.

At present, the cryostat base — the largest single component of the project — is being assembled by Indian engineers at the site in France.

“Such high-quality welding at a mega scale is being carried out first time in India… It is a unique ‘Make-in-India’ achievement as precision-manufactured sub-assemblies produced here will be finally assembled together in France to deliver the mammoth 30-meter diameter Cryostat — the world’s largest vacuum vessel,” S N Roy, managing director at L&T Power, told ET.

Officials said the project has given L&T a unique experience in working with high-end technology that will help it in the global market.

“We are glad that this breakthrough project, once completed, will have significant contributions from India’s engineering sector towards development of global nuclear fusion energy. It (puts) L&T in the league of very few select group of global companies,” Roy said.

While the Indian share of the fabrication work will finish by the end of 2019, the first experiments on the project are planned for 2025.

The project is funded by seven key members – the European Union, Japan, China, Russia, the US, South Korea and India. The Indian contribution is expected to be roughly 10% of the cost.

The ITER Agreement, concluded in 2006, is a 35-year collaboration to build and operate en experimental machine, or tokamak reactor, to harness the energy of fusion.