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  • Cryolines | Out through the door, in through the roof

    Cooling fluids for the machine's magnets, thermal shield and cryopumps will travel to the Tokamak Building through a set of large multi-process pipes (cryolines [...]

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  • Image of the week | Next in line

    Of six ring-shaped coils required for the ITER Tokamak, poloidal field coil #6 (PF6) is the heaviest (400 tonnes) and the second smallest, with a diameter of 10 [...]

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  • Assembly tools | Strong base for a very heavy task

    The first part of the in-pit assembly tool has been installed in the Tokamak pit. When complete, the tool will stand more than 20 metres high and branch out in [...]

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  • Diagnostics | A stowaway on board toroidal field coil #8

    Hidden inside the steel case of the most recent toroidal field coil delivered to ITER—TF8, from Japan—is a unique and critical diagnostic device. Named after th [...]

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  • Vacuum vessel sector | A 90° tilt in mid-air

    Ever since ITER entered the machine assembly phase, some ten months ago, we have been treated to a few spectacular lifting operations. In May 2020, we watched t [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Crane versus barge: a tale of Russian ingenuity

Re-christened ИТЭР 2016, or ITER 2016, a humble barge has become part of the engineering sophistication that is the ITER Project. (Click to view larger version...)
Re-christened ИТЭР 2016, or ITER 2016, a humble barge has become part of the engineering sophistication that is the ITER Project.
The Srednenevsky facility layout is favourable to manufacturing ultra-large components for later shipment. Situated on the Neva River near St Petersburg, the shipyard enjoys direct access to the Baltic Sea and global shipping routes.

Still, when manufacturing a component as large as ITER's poloidal field coil #1 (PF1)—200-tonnes when completed—there remains a not-insignificant engineering challenge: how to transfer this massive component from the construction hall to the transport ship. An obvious solution—but highly expensive—would be to construct a giant crane for this purpose.

The Srednenevsky team came up with a more creative strategy. Most of the multi-stage assembly platform for the PF1 coil fabrication process has been erected atop a stationary barge. This includes the vacuum pressure impregnation of each of the "double pancake" sections with epoxy resin, as well as the assembly of the double pancakes into the finished coil.

When the PF1 coil is complete, it will be lowered to a 45-degree angle for stability. The barge will then be tugged backward out of the construction hall and into the Neva River. There the coil and its platform will be transferred to a ship to begin their long journey "homeward."

Thus a humble barge—aptly re-christened ИТЭР 2016, or ITER 2016—has become part of the engineering sophistication that is the ITER Project.


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