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  • Fuelling fusion | The magic cocktail of deuterium and tritium

    Nuclear fusion in stars is easy: it just happens, because the immense gravity of a star easily overcomes the resistance of nuclei to come together and fuse. [...]

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  • 360° image of the week | The cryoplant

    Cryogenics play a central role in the ITER Tokamak: the machine's superconducting magnets (10,000 tonnes in total), the vacuum pumps, thermal shields and so [...]

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  • Central solenoid assembly | First sequences underway

    What does it take to assemble the magnet at the heart of ITER? Heavy lifting, unerring accuracy, and a human touch. The central solenoid will be assembled from [...]

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  • Assembly | The eyes of ITER

    Supervisors ensure compliance and completion as machine and plant assembly forges ahead. In Greek mythology, Argus was considered an ideal guardian because his [...]

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  • Component repairs | Removing, displacing and disassembling

    A good repair job starts with a cleared workbench, the right tools on hand and a strong vise. This axiom, true for odd jobs in a home workshop, is also true for [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

A giant's first steps



In Korea, manufacturing has begun for one of ITER's largest and most spectacular pieces of machinery: the first of a pair of 22-metre high, 800-tonne Sector Sub-Assembly tools.

"The Sector Sub-Assembly tools are not only imposing in size, but they are actually complex systems, with a lot of sub-components, precision actuators and powerful hydraulic engines," says Hyung-Yeol Yang, ITER Korea's director for advanced technology research.

Standing shoulder to shoulder under the high ceiling of the Assembly Building, the Sector Sub-Assembly tools will suspend each of the nine vacuum vessel sectors in order to install toroidal field coils and thermal shielding. The resulting 1,200-tonne sub-assemblies will be transferred to the Tokamak Complex and integrated into the machine.

On 15 February, the contractor Taekyung Heavy Industry commenced material cutting. The first of the twin Sector Sub-Assembly tools should be ready by October this year for a battery (six months) of factory acceptance tests, followed by delivery to ITER in mid-2017.

The twin giants are but the most spectacular of the 128 purpose-built assembly tools that Korea will procure for the ITER Project.


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