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Latest ITER Newsline

  • Vacuum vessel | First segment completed in Korea

    The technically challenging fabrication of the ITER vacuum vessel is progressing in Korea, where Hyundai Heavy Industries has completed the first poloidal segme [...]

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  • Project progress | How do we know where we stand?

    If ITER were an ordinary project, like the building of a bridge, the construction of a highway or even the launching of a satellite into space, it would be rela [...]

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  • Radial walls| Thickest rebar and most intricate geometry

    The combined mass of the ITER Tokamak and its enveloping cryostat is equivalent to that of three Eiffel Towers. But not only is it heavy (23,000 tonnes) ... it [...]

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  • Next step | Japan revises its DEMO strategy

    In light of recent progress on the construction of ITER and developments in domestic fusion research, the Science and Technology Committee on Fusion Energy—part [...]

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  • Monaco-ITER Fellows | Campaign opens for the 6th generation

    The ink has only just dried on the second Monaco-ITER Partnership Arrangement. Funded by the Principality of Monaco, the Arrangement allows the ITER Organizatio [...]

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Of Interest

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A giant to mill the ITER vacuum vessel

Sabina Griffith

A giant designed to mill the European sectors of the vacuum vessel that will be procured through a contract signed with the AMW consortium (Ansaldo Nucleare S.p.A, Mangiarotti S.p.A and Walter Tosto S.p.A). Photo: Waldrich Coburg (Click to view larger version...)
A giant designed to mill the European sectors of the vacuum vessel that will be procured through a contract signed with the AMW consortium (Ansaldo Nucleare S.p.A, Mangiarotti S.p.A and Walter Tosto S.p.A). Photo: Waldrich Coburg
One of the world's largest milling machines has been inaugurated at the Walter Tosto facility in Ortona, Italy. Called the PowerTec, it was specially designed and built by German tooling manufacturer Waldrich Coburg to mill the large stainless steel sectors of the ITER vacuum vessel.

Weighing 1,300 tonnes, PowerTec is one of the largest high precision portal milling machines ever built. The giant measures 50 metres in length, and is 18 metres tall and 22 metres wide. With a travel length of 35 metres and a maximum clearance of 10 metres—both in height and width—the PowerTec could easily clear a small home. But when it comes to handling ITER's high-tech components it's not only the sheer size that counts, it's also the precision. 

The manufacturing of the ITER vacuum vessel requires extreme precision in order to be able to successfully integrate many in-vessel components such as the blanket, the divertor and the in-vessel coils; for most of these components tolerances are on the order of 1-3 millimetres. The dimensions of the milling machine inaugurated at the Water Tosto facility on 10 September were dictated by the dimensions of the vacuum vessel sectors themselves, each weighing about 450 tonnes and standing 12 metres tall.

Of the nine ITER vacuum vessel sectors, seven will be built by Europe and two by Korea. In October 2010 the European Domestic Agency awarded its procurement contract to the European consortium AMW (Ansaldo Nucleare S.p.A, Mangiarotti S.p.A and Walter Tosto S.p.A).


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