300 tonnes of equipment on its way to ITER
A specially designed assembly tool and elements of the cryostat and vacuum vessel thermal shields are part of the shipments travelling now from Korea to ITER.
When machine assembly begins officially next year, overhead cranes with a lift capacity of 1,500 tonnes will begin to ferry completed components into the Tokamak Building for installation at the very bottom of the Tokamak Pit. The first of these, and the most spectacular in terms of sheer weight, will be the cryostat base.
Part of the thermal shield for vacuum vessel sector #6 (outboard segments) took to the sea this weekend (14 September) in respect of an ITER Council milestone.
In parallel, specialized tooling designed by Korea will enter into service next door in the Assembly Hall to manoeuvre, lift and in some cases pre-assemble components before their transfer to the Tokamak Building. Testing is underway now, for example, on the major sector sub-assembly tools (SSATs) that will allow contractors to join two D-shaped toroidal field and thermal shield panels to each 440-tonne vacuum vessel sector.
Shipments on their way from Korea now are important to that pre-assembly operation. In one boat that left the port of Ulsan on 29 August is the tool that will "upend" the vacuum vessel sectors and toroidal field coils from horizontal to vertical so that they can be installed on the SSAT tools. The upending tool is being shipped in two sections for a total of 220 tonnes.
Part of the ''upending'' tool, designed to raise some of ITER's largest and heaviest components (the vacuum vessel sectors and D-shaped toroidal field coils) to a vertical position for sub-assembly operations.
Also travelling are elements of the ITER thermal shield—steel panels coated with low-emissivity silver to protect cold components such as the superconducting magnets from thermal radiation. Two large sections—the cylindrical-shaped lower cryostat thermal shield (planned for installation early in the machine assembly sequence inside of the cryostat base) and the vacuum vessel thermal shield (that will be mounted directly on vacuum vessel sector #6 as it is suspended on the SSAT tool next year)—were shipped on two vessels out of the port of Busan on 1 and 15 September. A handling frame for the thermal shield sectors was shipped alongside the upending tool one week earlier.
All of these major components are expected at ITER in October. The arrival of the thermal shield for sector #6 of the vacuum vessel completes an ITER Council milestone.
Elements of the cryostat thermal shield (top) and the vacuum vessel thermal shield (bottom) left the port of Busan on 1 September.
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