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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Worksite | A frontier town at the frontier of science

    Like a frontier town of the American West, the ITER site grew from nothing to a thriving community of several thousand people in less than one decade. The origi [...]

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  • EPICS | An arena for cooperation

    Like the system of nerves in the human body, ITER's control system will connect the ITER 'brain' (control room systems) to its eyes and ears (sensors and diagno [...]

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  • 8th ITER Robots | 49 teams from 29 schools

    Upon entering the gymnasium at the Lycée des Iscles, you can feel the energy. Seven hundred students, pulsating music, sounds of triumph (and disappointment). T [...]

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  • Image of the week | Comfy cocoon

    The protective cocoon that encases the cryostat's lower cylinder briefly acquired some curves, last week, as air was pumped into it to test for potential leaks. [...]

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  • On site | New building, two purposes

    Excavation has started for a concrete building designed for the distinct storage and handling requirements of ITER's beryllium components—in particular, the fir [...]

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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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