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One foot inside
The twin Korean giants already have a foot inside the Assembly Hall—literally.
The giant's foot is a 4.4-metre-long steel cylinder that weighs 11 tonnes. It belongs to one of the formidable handling machines that will be used to pre-assemble vacuum vessel sectors with toroidal field coils and thermal shield segments.
The foot—or "bottom inboard column" in ITER parlance—is a 4.4-metre-long steel cylinder that weighs 11 tonnes. It is one of the four segments that, once stacked, will form the central column (and the rotation axis) of the first sector sub-assembly tool (SSAT-1)
Formidable handling machines, twin SSAT tools towering 22 metres above ground will be used to pre-assemble vacuum vessel sectors with toroidal field coils and thermal shield segments.
Preparation for the erection of the first tool began two months ago, with the installation of the base plates for the rail tracks. The rails were temporarily put into position a few days ago to check the interfaces with the plates and to make sure that the bolt holes in both components are perfectly aligned.
Beginning next week installation will begin in earnest and last approximately four months. In March 2018, operational tests, including a load test of 310 tonnes, will be performed on SSAT-1. By that time, the second tool (under fabrication now in Korea) will have been delivered and the first assembly activities initiated.
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