Transport of the components
For the two test convoys, a dummy load made of 360 concrete blocks was transported by a customized trailer along the whole length of the Itinerary. Its weight and dimensions—800 tons, 40 metres long, 9 metres wide, 11 metres high—replicated the most exceptional ITER loads. "Real" component transport along the Itinerary will begin late in 2014.
Seven ITER Members (34 nations) will share the responsibility for building the ITER machine and facilities. During the negotiations that preceded the signing of the ITER Agreement, the original sharing of procurement was decided between the Members—approximately 45.5 percent for Europe, and 9.1 percent each for China, India, Japan, Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States. Ninety percent of contributions will be delivered "in-kind", which means that in the place of cash, the Members will deliver components for the ITER Tokamak, plant systems, site infrastructure, and buildings directly to the ITER Organization.
With the exception of buildings, the in-kind contributions to ITER will be shipped from destinations all over the globe to the ITER site in Cadarache, France. The ITER Organization and all Domestic Agencies will work with a global Logistics Service Provider (LSP) for the transportation, logistics and insurance needs associated with these deliveries.
The LSP Framework Contract, signed in February 2012 with DAHER, covers all necessary transport and insurance services beginning at each supplier's factory, and continuing on through delivery to the final location. All modes of transportation are envisaged within the scope of the contract, including ocean, air, road, rail, and river/canal freight. A significant number of heavy-lift and exceptionally-sized loads will have to be moved from each supplying Domestic Agency to the ITER site.
The LSP provider DAHER has established a core team to report to the ITER Organization as well as representatives in each Member country to follow the management and the tracking of the loads. Every aspect of the transport of ITER components—including intermediate storage, handling, final unloading as well as insurance and customs management—will be handled by the Logistics Service Provider.
For all components sent by the Domestic Agencies, the European Domestic Agency, as part of its commitments to the ITER project, will provide transportation services to the ITER site from the Mediterranean harbour of Fos-sur-Mer (or in the case of air transport, from the Marseille airport in Marignane). Up to these points, the expense of transport lies with each sending Domestic Agency.
The first large components are expected on the ITER site in 2014. Large drain tanks for the Tokamak basement will arrive from the United States first, in June, followed by elements the electrical system (transformers and substation relay containers) from the US and China. Between 2015 and 2017, the largest components will be shipped: the nine sectors of the ITER vacuum vessel from Europe and Korea, as well as nineteen toroidal field coils from Europe and Japan.
The LSP Framework Contract will facilitate the complex logistics of the worldwide procurement of ITER components, and enable the ITER project to ensure their safe arrival on site.
The ITER Itinerary
Large-scale public works were carried out by France as Host state along the 104 kilometres of the ITER Itinerary between 2008 and 2011 to widen roads, reinforce bridges and modify intersections in preparation for the exceptional size and weight of some of the Tokamak components. The cost for these road works (EUR 110 million) was shared by the Bouches-du-Rhône department Council (66 percent) and the French State (34 percent).
The arrival of the loads has been programmed according to the ITER Tokamak assembly and plant installation schedule: the first convoys will carry elements needed in the lowest levels of the machine and in the first auxiliary buildings.
In advance of actual component transport, test convoys will be organized along the ITER Itinerary from Berre to Cadarache. From 16-20 September 2013, the first of these test convoys, replicating the dimensions of the most exceptional ITER loads, successfully tested the physical resistance of the Itinerary. From 31 March to 8 April 2014 a second test convoy tested global logistics and organization.