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Assembly Overview

The ITER Organization has overall responsibility for the successful integration and assembly of components delivered to the ITER site by the seven ITER Members. This includes the assembly of the ITER Tokamak, with its estimated one million components, and the parallel installation and integration of plant systems such as radio frequency heating, fuel cycle, cryogenic, cooling water, vacuum, control, and high voltage electrical.

Hundreds of thousands of assembly tasks, organized into construction work packages, have been carefully planned and organized by ITER engineers and schedulers. In its role as overall assembly integrator, the ITER Organization is assisted by:

The construction platform has been divided into three distinct assembly zones: Worksite 1 (Tokamak Pit, Assembly Hall and Cleaning Building) focused on the assembly of the ITER Tokamak; Worksite 2, focused on the Tokamak Complex plant systems directly connected to the machine; and Worksites 3-6 for balance of plant activities (all plant and auxiliary buildings). 

2020
start
machine assembly
2024
cryostat
closure
2025
First
Plasma
2026
full
magnet power
The ITER Organization is planning a multi-phase, staged approach to full deuterium-tritium operation, in which periods of machine operation alternate with shutdown periods for further assembly.

During Assembly Phase I, from March 2020 to December 2024, the ITER Organization will focus on the assembly of the core machine as well as systems essential for First Plasma operation. (See "The World's Largest Puzzle," above.) This period is followed by integrated commissioning, culminating in First Plasma.

Assembly Phase I

Assembly Phase II

Assembly Phase II is planned from June 2026 to June 2028. During this phase, contractors introduce in-vessel components such as the ITER divertor, blanket and in-vessel coils through machine ports, in some cases using remote handling devices. Additional diagnostics and heating systems will be installed. (See the video "In-Vessel Components," above.) An operational campaign in hydrogen and helium will follow.

The shutdown planned from June 2030 to September 2031, Assembly Phase III, is dedicated to installing the heating and diagnostic neutral beam systems, bringing radiofrequency heating systems to full capacity, and installing the ITER test blanket modules. Two years of experimentation at full heating power will ensue.

Assembly Phase III

Assembly Phase IV

Finally, the implementation of ITER's full tritium plant and hot cell facility during Assembly Phase IV (March 2034 to March 2035) opens the way for fusion power operation in June 2035.