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  • 31st ITER Council | Addressing challenges

    The project's governing body, the ITER Council, convened for the 31st time in its history on 16 and 17 November to evaluate the progress of construction, m [...]

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  • Machine assembly | Key components to be repaired

    When building a machine as large and as complex as ITER, difficulties and setbacks do not come as surprises—they are an integral part of manufacturing, assembli [...]

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  • Space management | Optimizing every square metre

    Building management is a constant challenge at ITER. The American statesman Ben Franklin is credited with saying that a successful organization requires 'a plac [...]

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  • Radio Frequency Building | Installing the first power supply sets

    When the plasma in the ITER vacuum vessel is fed sufficient power, the velocity that the particles acquire causes them to collide, fuse and generate considerabl [...]

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  • Fusion history | H-mode, the discovery that made ITER possible

    Forty years ago, the scientists in the ASDEX tokamak control room at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Germany sat up straight. Somethin [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

European consortium to deliver 100-million-euro robotic system

As part of the contract, 15 lorry-sized containers (or ''casks'') will be realized for the sealed transport of components in need of repair or replacement. The casks will travel between the vacuum vessel and the Hot Cell Facility, capable of ''docking'' at three different levels of the machine as shown here. (Click to view larger version...)
As part of the contract, 15 lorry-sized containers (or ''casks'') will be realized for the sealed transport of components in need of repair or replacement. The casks will travel between the vacuum vessel and the Hot Cell Facility, capable of ''docking'' at three different levels of the machine as shown here.
The European Domestic Agency has awarded a seven-year, EUR 100 million contract to a European consortium for the development, testing and installation of the cask and plug remote handling system—the robotic system at ITER that will ensure the remote transfer of in-vessel components between the vacuum vessel and the Hot Cell Facility for maintenance or disposal.

The transfer of components will be carried out with the help of truck-size, double-door containers known as casks. Fifteen of these casks will be on hand to move between the different levels of the Tokamak Building, docking at vacuum vessel ports to collect components in need of repair or replacement, and transporting them in a sealed container back to the Hot Cell Facility. The system is challenging to design due to the limited space in the environment of the tokamak, complex trajectories over multiple levels, and a nuclear environment. The heaviest cask, when charged, will weigh 100 tonnes.

The cask and plug remote handling system is challenging to design due to the limited space in the environment of the tokamak, complex trajectories over multiple levels, and a nuclear environment. In blue: a sample trajectory between the Tokamak Building (left) and the Hot Cell Facility. (Click to view larger version...)
The cask and plug remote handling system is challenging to design due to the limited space in the environment of the tokamak, complex trajectories over multiple levels, and a nuclear environment. In blue: a sample trajectory between the Tokamak Building (left) and the Hot Cell Facility.
The consortium members bring a wide range of experience in the design and realization of automated systems, the supply of nuclear equipment, mechanical engineering, project management, remote handing and robotics, air cushion technology, and engineering design. The consortium is formed by Airbus Safran Launchers (France-Germany), Nuvia Limited (UK) and Cegelec CEM (VINCI Energy, France), with the support of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), the Instituto Superio Técnico (IST, Portugal), AVT Europe NV (Belgium) and Millennium (France).

As part of its in-kind procurement commitments to the ITER Project, Europe is responsible for four remote handling systems: the divertor remote handling system; the cask and plug remote handling system; the in-vessel viewing system; and the neutral beam remote handling system. The contract for the cask and plug remote handling system announced on 27 October is the last—and the largest in value—to be signed over to industry for realization.

Read the full report and press release published on the European Domestic Agency website.



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