Air Liquide: Two major successes in extreme cryogenics for scientific research

Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:14pm EST

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PARIS--(Business Wire)--
Regulatory News: 

Air Liquide (Paris:AI): 

The research of the ITER project and its related project JT-60SA on fusionaims
to develop know-how in this new source of energyto meet the challenge of
increasing energy needs. Air Liquide will provide extreme cryogenic systems for
these two major projects. The total value of these equipment sales contracts
will reach over €100 million.

Based near Marseille, in France, the ITER project plans the creation of an
experimental reactor intended to illustrate the scientific and technical
feasibility of fusion. This process generates little waste and eliminates any
risk of reactor runaway. To obtain the very powerful electromagnetic fields
necessary to confine fusion, superconducting magnets must be used, which only
work at extremely low temperatures.

For this project, Air Liquide will provide the biggest centralised refrigeration
system ever built. This cryogenic equipment is essential for maintaining an
extremely cold temperature for the 10,000 tonnes of superconducting magnets used
on the Tokamak*. This sophisticated scientific instrument confines the plasma
that makes it possible to achieve the conditions necessary for controlled

This closed circuit refrigeration system is based on the properties of liquefied
helium, whose temperature is close to the lowest possible temperature0 K, or -
273°C, called "absolute zero". Between the end of 2015 and the beginning of
2017, Air Liquide will install three refrigerators for a global cooling capacity
of75 kW at 4.5 K, or - 269 °C.

Thepurpose of the JT-60SA project, a Tokamak-style infrastructure, based in Naka
in Japan, is to support the ITER project's research activities on fusion by
working on the capacity to control and maintain the plasma for several hours.
JT-60SA is led by the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) in collaboration with
the French organisation CEA. For this project, Air Liquide will commission, in
2015, a helium refrigeration system, intended to cool the Tokamak. 

François Darchis, Senior Vice-President and a member of Air Liquide`s Executive
Committee, commented: "We would like to thank ITER Organisation and the
Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission in France for their trust on
these two ambitious projects. After the CERN's LHC and Kstar in Korea, these
projects once again prove our capacity to meet major scientific challenges by
supplying very high tech systems. This means Air Liquide is involved in
significant international scientific projects that will shape our future and
contribute to the development of tomorrow's energy solutions."

Air Liquide and scientific cryogenics 

Air Liquide has unique expertise in the field of low temperatures and recognised
know-how in the design, production, and installation of high-capacity gas
liquefaction and refrigeration systems (the CERN's LHC in Switzerland, for

Air Liquide has also supplied cryogenic equipment for the biggest fusion
projects of the last 25 years (Tore Supra, JET, SST-1, and KSTAR). 

ITER and the Tokamak* 

Based in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, in the South of France, this project centres
around the Tokamak (toroidal magnetic confinement chamber). Using
electromagnetic fields, this sophisticated scientific instrument will make it
possible to generate plasma to create the conditions necessary for the
controlled fusion of atoms. This fusion generates the same type of energy as the
sun, which, eventually, will be recovered in the form of electrical energy. ITER
will test the fundamental technologies to initiate the next stage, called
"DEMO": a demonstration fusion reactor capable of producing energy for
commercial purposes. 

About JT-60SA 

Based in Naka, in Japan, the trials of JT-60SA (which stands for "Japan Tokamak
60 Super Advanced") are part of one of the three projects that will be carried
out in Japan as part of the Broader Approach Agreement, under the joint
supervision of Europe and Japan, thereby contributing to the construction phase
of the ITER project in Europe. 

This Tokamak was designed to optimise plasma configurations for the ITER and
DEMO projects. This project is led in Japan by the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency
(JAEA), which is collaborating with the Commission for Atomic Energy and
alternative energies (CEA in France) for the improvement of Tokamak. 

Air Liquide is the world leader in gases for industry, health and the
environment, and is present in 80 countries with 46,200 employees. Oxygen,
nitrogen, hydrogen and rare gases have been at the core of Air Liquide`s
activities since its creation in 1902. Using these molecules, Air Liquide
continuously reinvents its business, anticipating the needs of current and
future markets. The Group innovates to enable progress, to achieve dynamic
growth and a consistent performance.

Innovative technologies that curb polluting emissions, lower industry`s energy
use, recover and reuse natural resources or develop the energies of tomorrow,
such as hydrogen, biofuels or photovoltaic energy… Oxygen for hospitals, home
healthcare, fighting nosocomial infections… Air Liquide combines many products
and technologies to develop valuable applications and services not only for its
customers but also for society.

A partner for the long term, Air Liquide relies on employee commitment, customer
trust and shareholder support to pursue its vision of sustainable, competitive
growth. The diversity of Air Liquide`s teams, businesses, markets and geographic
presence provides a solid and sustainable base for its development and
strengthens its ability to push back its own limits, conquer new territories and
build its future.

Air Liquide explores the best that air can offer to preserve life, staying true
to its sustainable development approach. In 2011, the Group`s revenues amounted
to €14.5 billion, of which more than 80% were generated outside France. Air
Liquide is listed on the Paris Euronext stock exchange (compartment A) and is a
member of the CAC 40 and Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 indexes.
Follow us on Twitter @AirLiquideGroup

Air Liquide
Group Corporate Communications
Corinne Estrade-Bordry, + 33 (0)1 40 62 51 31
Garance Bertrand, + 33 (0)1 40 62 59 62
Investor Relations
Virginia Jeanson, +33 (0)1 40 62 57 37
Annie Fournier, +33 (0)1 40 62 57 18
Air Liquide Technologies of the Future
Dominique Lecocq, + 33 (4) 76 43 64 97 

Copyright Business Wire 2012