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Latest ITER Newsline

  • Port cells | All 46 doors in place

    In ITER, ordinary objects and features often take on an awesome dimension. Take the doors that seal off the port cells around the Tokamak for instance. Doors th [...]

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  • Toroidal field coils | Two make a pair

    One of the essential 'building blocks' of the ITER Tokamak is the pre-assembly of two toroidal field coils, one vacuum vessel sector and corresponding panels of [...]

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  • Industrial milestone | Cryostat manufacturing comes to an end in India

    With a flag-off ceremony on 30 June, India's L&T Heavy Engineering marked the end of an eight-year industrial adventure—the manufacturing of the ITER cryost [...]

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  • Local partners | A celebration for ITER's "vital artery"

    ITER is made possible through the work of thousands of scientists, engineers, workers of all trades and industries across the globe. It is also made possible by [...]

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  • Photo reportage | Travelling with a coil

    From the salt marshes of the inland sea Étang-de-Berre to the rolling hills around the ITER site (with a view of some of the highest alpine summits) an ITER con [...]

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Of Interest

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The 'frame' is ready, welding can begin

It is no news that the ITER Tokamak will be large ... very large. But "large" can remain an abstraction until you are given the chance to see some of the equipment and tools that will be implemented in its construction.

Another two steel frames will be necessary to support components, jigs and fixtures during the cryostat assembly process. The circular assembly platforms (34 metres in diameter) will also act as transporters for the completed cryostat sections. (Click to view larger version...)
Another two steel frames will be necessary to support components, jigs and fixtures during the cryostat assembly process. The circular assembly platforms (34 metres in diameter) will also act as transporters for the completed cryostat sections.
One of these pieces of equipment has just been assembled in the Cryostat Workshop—a circular steel frame that will support the cryostat base segments during welding operations.

The frame's diameter is 34 metres—four metres more than that of the cryostat in order to provide sufficient room for workers and welding machines. In the 44-metre wide Cryostat Workshop, the presence of such a large steel structure is overwhelming. Its sheer size dwarfs the men who were responsible for its assembly.

"We'll position the 60° segments of tier 1 on the frame and then align them using laser metrology," explains Vaibhav Joshi of ITER India. "Once tier 1 is welded, we will do the same with the 'rim' (tier 2). Welding operations will begin at the end of this month and last for about a year and a half, until the end of 2017."

The cryostat segments, manufactured by Larsen & Toubro Ltd, are part of India's in-kind procurement contributions. Indian contractor MAN Diesel & Turbo (Germany) will be in charge of welding operations. Once completed, the cryostat base section will weigh 1,250 tonnes ─ the single largest load of the machine assembly.

Still resting on its support frame, the base section will travel out of the workshop and into temporary storage on a self-propelled transport vehicle (SPMT).

Cryostat pre-assembly operations will then progress for the next sections (lower and upper cylinders) on two new frames. Once the base section is installed in its permanent position in the Tokamak Pit, its frame will be re-used for the final piece of the cryostat—the top lid.


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