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  • A mega contract for assembly-phase construction management was signed on 27 June 2016 by (left to right) Jo Jik-Lie, president of KEPCO's nuclear division; Clive White, president of Amec Foster Wheeler's  Clean Energy business; Bernard Bigot, ITER Director-General; and Stephane Aubarbier, vice president of Assystem.

    Mega contract to manage assembly and installation

    The ITER Tokamak, with its one million components and ten times as many individual parts—is without a doubt the most complex machine ever designed. Whereas spa [...]

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  • Beyond its symbolic importance First Plasma, scheduled for November 2025, will also be the occasion to test the alignment of the machine's magnetic fields and the operation of critical systems.

    First Plasma: 2025

    To determine the precise date of ITER's First Plasma, hundreds of engineers, technicians and schedulers worked for nearly 18 months to reconcile the latest inf [...]

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  • Nikita S. Khrushchev, physicist Igor V. Kurchatov (in the middle, with beard) and Nikolai A. Bulganin on 26 April 1956 in Harwell, the Holy of Holies of Britain's nuclear research. It was the improbable beginning to what was to become a "world fusion community."

    60 years ago: the speech that changed everything

    On 18 April 1956 a Soviet warship, escorted by two destroyers, pulled up to the dock in Portsmouth, UK. On board were two of the most powerful and enigmatic me [...]

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  • Doctor, mountaineer, navigator, Jean-Louis Etienne was the first man to reach the North Pole solo, over land, in 1986. In the Artic or in Antarctica, by foot, dog sled or airship, energy questions have always been at the heart of his preoccupations. © Francis Latreille

    Jean-Louis Etienne, polar explorer, on energy and ITER

    In 1986 Jean-Louis Etienne set out for the North Pole alone, on foot, from Ward Hunt Island in the extreme north of Canada—a voyage across the frozen Artic Oce [...]

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Mag Archives

Strong arms for 1,500-tonne loads

1,500 tonnes — or the equivalent of four Boeing 747s fully charged with passengers and fuel. That's what the recently installed Assembly Building bridge cranes will be capable of handling when operated together.

The overhead crane will have a double role to play in ITER, first handling the machine components during the installation and assembly phase that begins in 2019 ... and then handling them again during the dismantling phase of the project. (Click to view larger version...)
The overhead crane will have a double role to play in ITER, first handling the machine components during the installation and assembly phase that begins in 2019 ... and then handling them again during the dismantling phase of the project.
In June, a powerful crawler crane was positioned outside of the Assembly Building in order to raise and position the main elements of the overhead lift system. From its extended boom, a large hook passed through an opening in the roof and was lowered 43 metres to the basemat below, where four girders and their motorized trolleys were lined up for lifting.

The operation, which lasted some ten days, was a mix of brute force, high technology, and skill. Workers on the basemat below adjusted cables, slings, braces and shackles in order to perfectly balance the loads, while the crane operator—connected by radio from his cabin—slowly lifted each component. Surveyors used laser beams to ensure that everything was proceeding as planned and ropes were used to bring the largest components measuring 47 metres and weighing 186 tonnes into position.

The boom of the giant crawler crane is positioned over the building to lower a hook through an opening in the roof. (Click to view larger version...)
The boom of the giant crawler crane is positioned over the building to lower a hook through an opening in the roof.
The overhead crane will have a double role to play in ITER, first handling the machine components during the installation and assembly phase that begins in 2019 ... and then handling them again during the dismantling phase of the project.

Working together, the cranes will have the capacity to lift ITER's heaviest components, including the cryostat sections (the cryostat base will be the heaviest single load at 1,250 tonnes) and the sub-sections of the ITER vacuum vessel (approximately 1,200 tonnes each).

When the seven levels of the adjacent Tokamak Building are completed the rails of the overhead crane will be extended by 80 metres. At that point, the cranes will have a 170-metre crane bay to travel along in order to deliver ITER components to the assembly arena, before returning to pick up others in the Assembly Hall ...