Captured from on high
With assembly tools standing 22 metres tall, massive bridge cranes straddling the width of the building, and alien-shaped components placed at regular intervals on its perfectly smooth floor, the ITER Assembly Hall is the place where one takes full measure of the size and complexity of the ITER machine. These images captured from on high show the many ongoing activities in the hall, from the finalization of the works on the silver-plated lower cylinder thermal shield at one end of the 97-metre-long building, to the equipment of the vacuum vessel sector at the other.
1 — 2: The twin sector sub-assembly tools (SSATs) will pre-assemble each vacuum vessel sector with its thermal shielding and a pair of toroidal field coils.
From the rafters, looking toward the hall's entrance, with SSAT-2 and vacuum vessel sector #6 in the foreground.
3: The silver-plated lower cylinder thermal shield (20 metres in diameter, 50 tonnes) will fit inside the soup-dish-shaped depression of the cryostat base to form a heat barrier protecting the magnets at superconducting temperature. It will be inserted into the assembly pit near the end of the year.
4: The upending tool is tasked to handle the vacuum vessels sectors (440 tonnes) and toroidal field coils (360 tonnes). Once securely clamped into the massive steel structure, the components will be lifted, upended from horizontal to vertical in mid-air, unclamped and delivered into the arms of one of the SSAT tools for pre-assembly.
5: This steel structure is used to attach dummy loads to the upending tool. It is sitting on the pair of dummy loads that were used for testing the sector sub-assembly tools and the overhead crane load path.
6: Delivered to ITER on 7 August, vacuum vessel sector #6 is undergoing a number of installation activities prior to pre-assembly operations next year. The welding of approximately 800 diagnostic bosses has been finalized; now it is the turn of small studs and clips.
7: Both inboard and outboard sections of the vacuum vessel thermal shield have been placed into their respective lifting tools. Upending tests are scheduled in the coming days.
Looking toward the assembly pit. The lower cylinder thermal shield (to the right) is being equipped and prepared for insertion in the pit at the end of the year.
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