The Government of Cantabria, through SODERCAN, has approved a grant of 3,668,805 euros for Leading Metal-Mechanic Solutions of San Felices de Buelna. The grant will be disbursed over three years to support a new fusion energy and particle accelerator project for large-scale scientific infrastructure. The project has a total budget of some 15.6 million euros and will involve the expansion of existing facilities and create approximately one hundred new jobs.
With this financial support, part of the program to improve industrial competitivity undertaken by SODERCAN, the regional government is providing assistance to Grupo Leading in creating a high added-value technological model for large-scale scientific infrastructure including the fusion reactor and particle accelerators.
This model is specifically oriented to the development and pre-production of protection systems for an experimental fusion reactor using new materials, nano-coatings and special fittings which Leading has been developing in recent years.
The regional president, Miguel Ángel Revilla, described the new project as “spectacular” and at “the cutting edge of technological innovation”. With this project Leading will help situate Cantabria at the “forefront” of the manufacture of these types of sophisticated components. “Here we create and sell the most advanced technologies”, said the president, who noted the highly-skilled character of Leading’s employees, 280 in total.
Finally, the president reiterated the commitment of the Government of Cantabria to industrial development and his optimism about the future of the sector in Cantabria.
The project financed by the Government of Cantabria is part of Leading’s contribution to the nuclear fusion reactor ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor). The Cantabrian firm was awarded a contract of approximately 300 million euros, the largest industrial contract in the history of the Community, expected to lead to the creation of a further 140 jobs.
Grupo Leading, through its subsidiary Leading Metal-Mechanic Solutions, was selected to develop and manufacture “First Wall Panels” (FWP´s) within the interior of the ‘Tokamak’ nuclear fusion reactor of the ITER This is the most important fusion energy research project in the world.
FWP´s are a fundamental part of the ITER reactor, confining the nuclear fusion reaction within a wall of 440 heat exchangers that will cool the system producing millions of degrees of heat and protect the steel structure and superconducting toroidal magnets from the heat and highly-charged neutrons produced by the fusion reaction.
Thus, the systems developed in Cantabria will be the first in human history to contain the power of the sun here on Earth.
ITER is an international project with the participation of the European Union, Japan, the United States, South Korea, India, Russia and China. The aim is to demonstrate the scientific and technological viability of nuclear fusion with the construction of the Tokamak reactor in Cadarache, in the southeast of France. The ITER has a total budget of some 24 billion euros, making it the fifth most costly scientific project in history after the Apollo Space Program, the International Space Station, the Manhattan Project and the deployment of the GPS system.
Leading in Cantabria
Founded in 1972, Leading Metal-Mechanic Solutions is dedicated to the design, development and manufacture of high-precision machined parts, prototypes, small-batch and serial production of components, as well as machine tooling and casting models in a range of materials, ferrous and non-ferrous metals (aluminium, bronze, brass, titanium, etc.) and in all types of production (forging, laminating, casting, etc.).
The company is involved in a wide range of industries including the automotive sector, metallurgy, aeronautics, defence, railways, nuclear and petrochemical industries.