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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Heating | A pinch of moondust in the ITER plasma

    One day in the distant future, fusion plants might be fuelled by helium 3—an isotope that is extremely scarce on Earth but reputed to be abundant on the Moon. B [...]

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  • Delivery | 2,000 km through canals, locks and tunnels

    When the thruway is closed, one takes the back roads. And when it's low-water season on the Rhine-Rhône canal, a barge leaving Switzerland for the Mediterranean [...]

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  • Monaco Fellows | A hand in shaping ITER

    For the sixth time, ITER is welcoming a group of five young researchers as part of the Monaco-ITER postdoctoral fellowship scheme. Working alongside experienced [...]

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  • On site | Drone survey on a perfect day

    There are days in winter when the skies over Provence are perfectly transparent. Snowy peaks 200 kilometres away appear close enough to be touched and farms, co [...]

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  • AAAS conference | ITER on the world science stage

    With more than 120,000 members globally, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is billed as the world's largest scientific society. The [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Home at last

R.A.

Passing through Saint Paul-lez-Durance (pop. 987), the last village before arriving at ITER. (Click to view larger version...)
Passing through Saint Paul-lez-Durance (pop. 987), the last village before arriving at ITER.
There's a strange beauty to the transport of ITER components. It comes from the revolving lights piercing the night, from the slow progress of the trailer and its escort of a dozen vehicles, from the deserted roads and sleeping villages...

For three nights, from 4 to 7 May, the second Highly Exceptional Load (HEL) to be delivered to ITER made its way along the ITER Itinerary. A few minutes past 3:00 a.m., on Thursday 7 May, two large trailers—each loaded with a 79-ton cylindrical tank—passed the gate of the ITER site.

Five weeks after the US-procured components had embarked for their transatlantic voyage and 11 days after they were unloaded at Marseille's industrial harbour in Fos-sur-Mer, the tanks had reached their home at last.

The final leg of the voyage, from the village Meyrargues to the ITER site, was uneventful—which is the best possible result for such a delicate logistics operation. The schedule was respected and even improved by half an hour. By mid-afternoon both tanks had been unloaded and carefully stored into the large hangar at the entrance to ITER Headquarters.

Out in the open they resembled giant beer kegs. In the hangar, they looked like the segments of a star-bound rocket.


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