Second "jewel" to leave Korea
A second 40-degree sector of the ITER vacuum vessel is about to leave the Hyundai Heavy Industries manufacturing facility in Ulsan, Korea, for shipment to ITER.
Protectively wrapped and inserted inserted into generous metal housing, vacuum vessel sector #7 will leave the factory this week for transfer to Mipo Port, Ulsan. The ocean voyage to Fos-sur-Mer, France, will require approximately one month.
Nine 40-degree sectors will create the torus-shaped plasma chamber of the ITER machine. Four will be supplied to the ITER Project by Korea, and five by Europe. The box may be nondescript, but the 440-tonne jewel that will travel inside is anything but.
Sector #7 is the second 440-tonne vacuum vessel sector procured by Korea; two others are in an advanced stage of fabrication (95% and 88% completed) at Hyundai Heavy Industries. With each realization, the lessons learned serve to ease the industrial steps (including final assembly and welding, achievement of tolerances, PAUT examination, and packing) for the remaining sectors.
Lessons learned in the shipment of the first sector last year, for example, led to a certain number of improvements to the cabin-like packing crate including an increase in crate size (to avoid clashes as the component is removed) and an easier-to-remove cover.
Sectors #6 and #7 will be the first lowered into the Tokamak pit at ITER and welded together. (See this recent article on vacuum vessel in-pit welding.)
One by one, the jewels in ITER's nine-spoke crown are arriving.
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