The Big Yellow
At 2:21 a.m. on Thursday 18 March, a convoy carrying a load as long as four buses passed the gates of the ITER site. The load was the first of four girders for the Assembly Hall cranes (provided by Europe) to be delivered in the weeks and months to come.
The first of four 47-metre-long girders was delivered to ITER in the early hours of 18 March.
Manufactured by REEL in Avilès, on the Atlantic coast of Spain, the 155-tonne, 47-metre long steel beam had travelled four nights along the ITER Itinerary instead of the standard three.
Due to the length and weight of the convoy (67 metres, 330 tonnes) the transport took place at a leisurely 2 to 5 kilometres per hour. Negotiating curves and roundabouts, passing bridges and cutting across the A51 thruway was a particularly complex task whose preparation required 3D modelling.
However delicate, the task was performed to perfection by all actors involved—global logistics provider DAHER, Agence Iter France, and the French authorities who provide a large security detachment to every ITER convoy.
View the image gallery below.
As the day breaks, the girder is safely parked on the ITER platform. It will be stored in the Poloidal Field Coil Winding Facility until it is installed, along with three identical beams, on rails 45 metres above the basemat of the Assembly Building.
End of the line
3:00 a.m. on Friday 18 March— the convoy comes to a stop. It took a total of four nights to cover the 104 km to the ITER site.
English on one side, French on the other: a 7-metre-long banner (looking quite small on 47-metre beam) indicates what it's all about.
2,700 kilometres by sea, 104 by road
After having travelled 2,700 kilometres by sea and 104 along the ITER Itinerary, the convoy passes the gate of the ITER site at 2:21 a.m. on 18 March.
In the light of the moon
As the moon breaks through the clouds, the convoy begins ascending the steep heavy haul road leading to the ITER platform.
Pull and push
It took two powerful trailers, one pulling, one pushing, to bring the convoy to its final destination. In the background, the steel structure of the Assembly Hall is visible.
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