At 2:21 a.m. on Thursday 18 March, a convoy carrying a load as long as four buses passed the gates of the ITER site. The load was the first of four girders for the Assembly Hall cranes (provided by Europe) to be delivered in the weeks and months to come.
The first of four 47-metre-long girders was delivered to ITER in the early hours of 18 March.
Manufactured by REEL in Avilès, on the Atlantic coast of Spain, the 155-tonne, 47-metre long steel beam had travelled four nights along the ITER Itinerary instead of the standard three.
Due to the length and weight of the convoy (67 metres, 330 tonnes) the transport took place at a leisurely 2 to 5 kilometres per hour. Negotiating curves and roundabouts, passing bridges and cutting across the A51 thruway was a particularly complex task whose preparation required 3D modelling.
However delicate, the task was performed to perfection by all actors involved—global logistics provider DAHER, Agence Iter France, and the French authorities who provide a large security detachment to every ITER convoy.