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Also in this issue

  • Six experimental Test Blanket Modules containing lithium will be mounted inside the ITER vacuum vessel to test tritium breeding concepts.

    Tritium: Changing lead into gold

    In order to produce energy from the fusion of light atoms, nature offers a dozen of possible combinations. Only one is accessible in the current state of techn [...]

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  • HSH Prince Albert II took time to tour the dozens of stands and industrial exhibits of MIIFED-IBF 2016. He is pictured here listening to the explanations provided by ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot and Pierre-Marie Delplanque, from Agence Iter France, on the transport of ITER's largest components.

    Monaco: fusion world capital

    In2010, 2013 and 2016,a major rendezvous in fusionhas gathered researchers, industrialists, and international organizations to the Principality of Monaco. Unde [...]

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  • November 1985: the two most powerful men in the world give the necessary political impetus to creating "the widest practicable" international cooperation in the domain of fusion.

    Conceived in Geneva

    On a cold November morning in Geneva, 30 years ago, two men met for the first time. Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, at the head of the world's two superpo [...]

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  • Reels, de-spoolers, a winding table, impregnation moulds ... little by little the 12,000 m² Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility is being equipped with specialized tooling.

    In the lair of the ring magnets

    ITER's ring-like poloidal field coils are among the largest and heaviest components of the ITER machine. Ranging from 8 to 24 metres in diameter, and from 193 [...]

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Mag Archives

The ITER cryostat: on your mark, get set ...

For the past year, the pace of highly exceptional (HEL) component deliveries has been accelerating. Some of the components, such as the electrical transformers received between January and May from the United States, have already been installed on site; others have been placed in storage. Albeit spectacular, the late-night arrival of these convoys is now a firmly established part of life on the worksite.

Unloaded, unwrapped, and carefully stored in the Cryostat Workshop, where welding and assembly activities will soon begin, the segments already give us an idea of the size of the ITER machine. (Click to view larger version...)
Unloaded, unwrapped, and carefully stored in the Cryostat Workshop, where welding and assembly activities will soon begin, the segments already give us an idea of the size of the ITER machine.
The convoy that passed the ITER gates at 2:30 a.m. on 10 December 2015, however, was welcomed with an extra dose of emotion. The three flatbed trucks carried the very first segments of the ITER cryostat—the giant "thermos" that will completely surround the tokamak, provide structural support, and ensure the thermal insulation of the superconducting magnets. (See ITER Mag #6, February 2015)

One week later, a second convoy arrived with three identical elements, weighing 50 tonnes each, followed by trucks carrying a number of 19-tonne elements—in all, 460 tonnes of polished steel that will form Tier 1 of the cryostat base.

Unloaded, unwrapped, and carefully stored in the Cryostat Workshop where welding and assembly activities will soon begin, these segments representing less than one-eighth of the total mass of the cryostat (3,850 tonnes) already give us an idea of the size of the ITER device.

Six of the components that reached ITER in December weighed 50 tonnes each. Assembled with six auxiliary segments and welded, they will form Tier 1 of the cryostat base, the heaviest single ''piece'' of the ITER machine (1,250 tonnes). (Click to view larger version...)
Six of the components that reached ITER in December weighed 50 tonnes each. Assembled with six auxiliary segments and welded, they will form Tier 1 of the cryostat base, the heaviest single ''piece'' of the ITER machine (1,250 tonnes).
The arrival of these first machine components, which were procured by India and manufactured at Larsen & Toubro's Hazira plant, was achieved a few weeks in advance in relation to the ITER calendar. It was the first milestone achieved of the 29 validated in November 2015 by the ITER Council for the period 2016-2017.

"We can celebrate a great accomplishment, one that is the fruit of remarkably integrated work and coordinated effort," said ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot during a brief ceremony organized in the imposing Cryostat Workshop. "Collaboration is the cornerstone of the ITER Project and the first condition of our success."

In a few months Tier 2 of the base will arrive, followed by the segments that will make up the lower cylinder of the 30-metre-wide ITER cryostat. The 1,250-tonne base section will be the single heaviest load of ITER Tokamak assembly.