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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Cryoplant | Filled from floor to ceiling

    The ITER cryoplant used to be a vast echoey chamber with 5,400 m² of interior space divided into two areas; now, it is filled from floor to ceiling with industr [...]

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  • Cryostat | Adjusting, welding, testing ...

    The assembly of the ITER cryostat—the stainless steel "thermos" that insulates the ultra-cold superconducting magnets from the environment—is progress [...]

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  • Tokamak Building | Full steam ahead

    In this central arena of the construction site, construction teams are active three shifts a day—two full work shifts and a third, at night, dedicated to moving [...]

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  • Poloidal field coils | Turning tables and hot resin

    One of only two manufacturing facilities located on the ITER site, the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility was constructed by Europe to house the winding, imp [...]

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  • Assembly Hall | One giant standing

    Two identical handling tools in the Assembly Hall will play a critical role in preparing ITER's nine vacuum vessel sectors for their final journey: transport by [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

The 3:30 a.m. procession



The scene is now familiar. It is a few hours before sunrise and a long procession of motorcycles, trucks and trailers slowly progresses towards the ITER gates. Everything is bathed is multi-coloured light ─ the pulsating blue of the Gendarmerie vans and motorcycles, the gyrating orange of the technical vehicles, and the blinding white of the headlights...

Familiar, but never routine. Every transport convoy—every "Highly Exceptional Load"—is an event in itself. After all, 300-ton loads (twice the weight of an Airbus A300) are not that frequent on the roads of Provence.

On Friday 10 June, at 3:30 a.m., the first of a series of three transformers arrived for ITER's pulsed power electrical network (PPEN)—the network that will feed power to the heating and control systems during plasma pulses.

Procured by the Chinese Domestic Agency, the three units are massive structures that will weigh approximately 460 tonnes each when completely filled with insulating oil and fitted out with the proper "bushings."


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