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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • ITER DNA | A "case" study...

    In December last year, and again this year in early May, pre-welding fitting tests demonstrated that steel components as tall as a four-storey building (and wei [...]

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  • First plasma| Temporary in-vessel protection

    The vacuum vessel, the operating theatre of the ITER machine, needs to be protected against possible damage from the hot plasma at any given time during its ope [...]

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  • Divertor cassettes | Successful prototypes open way to series

    Before embarking on the fabrication of the 54 complex steel structures that will form a ring at the bottom of the ITER machine—the divertor cassettes—the Europe [...]

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  • Images of the week | Titan tool 90 percent complete

    Towering 22 metres above ground and weighing approximately 800 tonnes, the twin sector sub-assembly tools (SSAT) are formidable handling machines that will be u [...]

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  • Video | How does the ITER cryoplant work?

    Cold is essential to ITER—10,000 tonnes of superconducting magnets, the thermal shield that surrounds the machine, the cryopumps that achieve the high vacuum in [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

In the Tokamak's subterranean world



It's a world that evokes underground quarries, a cathedral carved out of rock, a pyramid's secret chamber... The space between the lower basement slab (B2) and the next-level slab (B1) of the Tokamak Complex is punctuated by 18 giant columns that will rise 30 metres when completed and provide structural support to the Tokamak Building.

In this cavernous space, thousands of embedded plates stud the ceiling, floor and walls like geometric constellations—these will be used to anchor the equipment that must be installed at every level of the building.

The thick walls between the massive columns will house pipe chases, and are made of extra-dense concrete that is formulated with magnetite gravel sourced in Swedish Lapland.

The only sunlight that enters this subterranean realm comes from regular double openings in the bioshield wall, reserved for the magnet feeders that will relay electrical power and cryogens to the ITER magnets.

What is today a vast open space around the Tokamak assembly arena will one day be occupied by the dense piping of the cooling water system primary circuit. Gone will be the cathedral-like space ... replaced by a forest of steel pipes and pumps.


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