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Image of the week

Preparing for a momentous event

A large circular opening in the foreground where the ITER machine will be assembled piece by piece; a large circular structure in the background—the first piece to be inserted. The lowering of the cryostat base this month will mark the symbolic beginning of the machine assembly phase.
 
The ''assembly theatre'' is a vast space that encompasses the assembly and crane halls. In the foreground, the opening of the assembly pit; in the background, past the twin sector sub-assembly tools, the cryostat base is being groomed for the upcoming assembly operations. (Click to view larger version...)
The ''assembly theatre'' is a vast space that encompasses the assembly and crane halls. In the foreground, the opening of the assembly pit; in the background, past the twin sector sub-assembly tools, the cryostat base is being groomed for the upcoming assembly operations.
At both ends of the vast "assembly theatre," teams are busy preparing for this momentous event. A permanent protective fence is being erected around the rim of the Tokamak pit, partly made of see-through panels to allow specialists to closely monitor the descent of the 1,250-tonne component. At the bottom of the pit, specialists from the European Domestic Agency are adjusting and adapting the last plates of the cryostat's vertical skirt support.

In a few days the cryostat base, properly rigged out, will be lifted a few centimetres to verify that all the functions are behaving as defined and expected. (Click to view larger version...)
In a few days the cryostat base, properly rigged out, will be lifted a few centimetres to verify that all the functions are behaving as defined and expected.
At the other end of the theatre, workers from the CNPE consortium have begun grooming the base section for the upcoming operations. In a few days the component, properly rigged out, will be lifted a few centimetres to verify that all the functions are behaving as defined and expected.

The big lift is scheduled at the end of the month—a first-of-a-kind operation for a first-of-a-kind component.


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