Top lid enters the stage
In this vast workshop over the past five years, the different sections of the ITER cryostat have been assembled and welded under India's responsibility. The base section, followed by the lower and upper cylinders, have successively taken shape—massive components whose dimensions give a true sense of the awesome size of the machine they will enclose. The time has now come for the last of the four sections to enter the stage.
At 665 tonnes, the cryostat top lid is the second heaviest component of the ITER machine. Its main elements—12 lid segments, one centre cylinder and one centre cover—have all been delivered and will soon be positioned inside the supporting frame.
Perfectly aligned on the workshop floor, the major elements of the cryostat top lid will soon be positioned inside the supporting frame in the background of this photograph (the central cylinder is hidden by the frame).
Once the segments are assembled and adjusted, and the fit-up verified, welding operations will start, followed by the machining of the flange and the drilling of 144 holes for the bolting system. Indian contractor Larsen & Toubro (manufacturing design, fabrication and assembly) and sub-contractor MAN Energy Solutions (welding) are responsible for the work.
Specialists from MAN Energy Solutions are finalizing the installation of the support frame, prior to starting on assembly and welding.
By year end, the fourth and last element of the cryostat will have been finalized. A major milestone in the ITER Project and the end of a magnificent human and technological adventure.
return to the latest published articles