Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:


Please enter your email address:

@

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Lower cylinder | A transfer that felt like art

    Art has little to do with the transfer of a giant component. On Monday however, as ITER was preparing to celebrate Leonardo da Vinci's 500th anniversary, scienc [...]

    Read more

  • Event | ITER in Da Vinci mode

    'The most noble pleasure is the joy of understanding.' Written more than 500 years ago in the private journal of Leonardo da Vinci, these words still felt timel [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | When the Pit inspires an artist

    On a Sunday morning, when all is silent and still on the ITER platform, an eerie dimension is added to the Tokamak Pit. Hidden eyes seem to peer through the [...]

    Read more

  • Leonardo and innovation | In the steps of a giant

    To the members of a panel on innovation and Italian leadership, the moderator had one question: how do you see Leonardo da Vinci's scientific method—a systemati [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | Sandblasting

    Whether at home or in a nuclear installation, a painting job begins with surface preparation. In the ITER Tokamak Pit, close to 3,000 square metres of wall need [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Technical incidents delay test convoy

R.A.

As the halt along the canal was unscheduled, onlookers were few at the departure of the test convoy last Thursday at 10:00 p.m. (Click to view larger version...)
As the halt along the canal was unscheduled, onlookers were few at the departure of the test convoy last Thursday at 10:00 p.m.
A big surprise awaited joggers and bikers accustomed to the quiet track that runs along the EDF canal close to the village of La Roque d'Anthéron, some 35 kilometres to the west of Aix-en-Provence. On Thursday morning, the whole width of the track was blocked by a huge vehicle loaded with hundreds of concrete blocks and guarded by two security agents.

On the second night of its progression toward the ITER site, the test convoy had not planned to stop there. But a second technical incident, following a failure in the trailer's hydraulic system the previous night, had led the organizers halt the convoy at this stop.

Prior to the departure of the convoy, Bernard Bon, DAHER head of convoy (left) and Pierre-Marie Delplanque, Agence Iter France managing director, discuss the technical incidents of the previous nights. (Click to view larger version...)
Prior to the departure of the convoy, Bernard Bon, DAHER head of convoy (left) and Pierre-Marie Delplanque, Agence Iter France managing director, discuss the technical incidents of the previous nights.
The second incident was also related to the hydraulic system. By the time the faulty seal was identified and replaced at 2:50 a.m., three hours had elapsed leaving only a few hours before the break of day.

As the ITER convoys are allowed to drive only at night in order to limit the disturbance to the local communities the trailer was brought to a halt at 5:00 a.m., 20 kilometres before Meyrargues—its planned destination and the last stop before the ITER site.

As a consequence, the schedule had to be promptly reorganized. It was decided that the convoy would leave its improvised parking slot along the canal at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday night to reach Meyrargues, where it would park for the weekend. It is now expected on the ITER site at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday 8 April instead of Friday 4 April as initially anticipated.

"The incidents we suffered have helped us identify what could, and should be improved," explained Bernard Bon, DAHER head of convoy. "This is precisely what such tests are for."

The 352-wheel, 800-tonne trailer is being readied for the 20 kilometre ride to Meyrargues. The convoy is now expected at the ITER site on Tuesday 8 March at 6:00 a.m. (Click to view larger version...)
The 352-wheel, 800-tonne trailer is being readied for the 20 kilometre ride to Meyrargues. The convoy is now expected at the ITER site on Tuesday 8 March at 6:00 a.m.
As it progressed toward Meyrargues on Thursday night, the convoy organization was also tested in a quite unexpected way. Two vehicles tried to force their way through the protective "bubble" that surrounds the convoy. Coming face to face with a sizable contingent  of Gendarmerie forces, the drivers took a sharp U-turn and sped into a residential area where they abandoned their vehicle; they were eventually apprehended by Gendarmerie motorcyclists. In the abandoned cars authorities found an abundance of wine bottles, the probable product of a burglary.

The incident delayed the convoy by 18 minutes.


return to the latest published articles