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2023 - Early design validation on the Vacuum Vessel ports sealing interface installation and removal with Virtual Reality in ITER TBM port cells [Articolo su rivista]
Di Paolo, Chiara; Gazzotti, Stéphane; Griffiths, Sarah; Plantin de Hugues, Thibault; Martins, Jean-Pierre; Le Tonqueze, Yannick; Manfreo, Benoit; Friconneau, Jean-Pierre; Giancarli, Luciano; Josseaume, Fabien; Quinn, Eamonn; Peruzzini, Margherita; Kharoua, Cyril

Port Cell (PC) rooms in the ITER tokamak building host the devices required for the Port Plugs operation and provide connection to services. During Plasma Operation State, the Vacuum Vessel ports sealing interface pro- vides vacuum tightness and first confinement barrier as essential functions. When a Port Plug needs to be replaced or maintained, this significant sealing component must be removed and reinstalled. The general strategy for this operation has been reviewed resulting in modification proposals to address the requirements for static and dynamic confinement and management of radiation considering the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) approach. As Dose Reduction Measures (DRM), additional provisions have been proposed to ensure a robust confinement control during the machine shutdown operation. They mostly consist in an airlock that al- lows the extension of the first confinement barrier equipped with specific handling equipment to perform human- assisted operations on the sealing flanges. In particular, this paper presents the study carried out in TBM dedi- cated PC during the conceptual design phase of the maintenance cabin airlock and the handling tools by means of Virtual Reality (VR). VR techniques allow working with virtual prototypes at full scale from the early design stage to ease the design process and the concepts validation with important results concerning the assessments of accessibility issues. The study describes also the outcomes of the VR studies and explains how VR can be an effective instrument to conduct integration studies with complex kinematics and human access operations in the execution of the engineering validation process.