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Inside the cold factory

Pipes and tanks of all sizes and colours, valves, compressors, truck-size electrical motors, zeppelin-like gas bags, puzzling contraptions evocative of sea monsters ... the ITER cryoplant is a world of industrial strangeness. The installation is unique, larger than any in the world and tasked with a daunting mission: to provide cooling fluids to 10,000 tonnes of superconducting magnets, eight massive cryopumps, and thousands of square metres of thermal shielding. As high as a seven-storey building and the size of two soccer fields, the cryoplant is but part of the massive industrial infrastructure required to operate ITER. On the 42-hectare ITER platform, it takes close to 40 buildings, accommodating dozens of different plant systems, to light the little star inside the ITER Tokamak.

As large as two football pitches, the ITER cryoplant provides cooling fluids to 10,000 tonnes of superconducting magnets, eight massive cryopumps, and thousands of square metres of thermal shielding. (Click to view larger version...)
As large as two football pitches, the ITER cryoplant provides cooling fluids to 10,000 tonnes of superconducting magnets, eight massive cryopumps, and thousands of square metres of thermal shielding.

Scroll through the gallery below for more information on the mechanical installation activities underway now.



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