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ITER assembly

First large tool rises

ITER's first 22-metre-tall vacuum vessel sector sub-assembly tool is going up quickly in the Assembly Hall.

 (Click to view larger version...)
After a long period during which the anchoring elements—including base plates and rails—were set into place and precise measurements taken, the installation of ITER's first giant assembly tool is underway.

The inboard column already stands at 18 metres, with only 4 metres to go to reach its full height. To either side of the column, lateral wings are under construction and two other tall columns—the outboard columns—will be erected in the days and weeks to come. A testing phase will follow.

The tool, once fully erected, will be capable of supporting loads of 1,200 tonnes. Vacuum vessel sectors shipped from Europe and Korea will first be upended from their horizontal shipping position, and then suspended vertically by one of two sector sub-assembly tools while a pair of toroidal field coils plus thermal shielding is attached. The final assembly will be transported by overhead crane to the Tokamak assembly arena.

 (Click to view larger version...)

In all, about half of the major components for the first tool have been installed. In parallel, the elements for the second tool have been manufactured and assembled at Taekyung Heavy Industries (THI) in Korea, where testing is underway.


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