Chart Ferox has manufactured two giant cryogenic plants to be used in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor’s (ITER’s) project to create and control fusion.

The colossal containers will be used to capture and store excess helium (He) at temperatures of -196˚C as part of ITER’s project to control fusion. The aim of the project is to demonstrate that fusion could become a source of carbon-free energy by 2050.

In the experiment, the ITER machine uses hydrogen (H2) isotopes – deuterium and tritium – which fuse to form a plasma, producing He and freeing neutrons, as well as a considerable amount of energy, which replicates the fusion that occurs naturally at the core of the sun and the stars.

Superconducting magnets circulate super cold He to entrap the hot plasma, which can reach temperatures of 150,000,000˚C. Occasionally however, the magnets could ‘quench’ and start becoming resistant, meaning their temperature could rise by 50˚C and will no longer confine the plasma.

As the temperature rises, the He that circulates through the cryogenic system will start to expand and will be extracted and directed to Chart’s giant tanks for storage.

Each tank measures a massive 35m in length and 4.5m in width, and will require special arrangements to be transported from the port of Marseille to the ITER construction site in Cadarache in the south of France.

The manufacturing process of the tanks has taken around nine months after commencing back in August 2015.


Chart Ferox supplies equipment for the cryogenic storage and distribution of liquefied and air gases such as nitrogen (N2), oxygen (O2), argon (Ar), carbon dioxide (CO2), and liquefied natural gas (LNG).