As big (and heavy) as a whale

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As big (and heavy) as a whale



It was pouring when the two 35-metre-long quench tanks were delivered to the ITER site at 2:12 a.m. on Thursday 24 November. And it was still raining heavily on the following afternoon when the huge components were lifted from their trailers and placed in storage on "elephant legs."

But rain or shine, components must be delivered. Despite the adverse climatic conditions—with strong winds and a storm brewing—the two-tank convoy travelled the last leg of its journey without incident.

Manufactured by the Czech subcontractor (Chart Ferox) of Air Liquide, under contract with the European Domestic Agency for the procurement of the ITER liquid nitrogen plant and auxiliary systems, the quench tanks are an essential part of the ITER cryoplant.  In case of a "quench"—the sudden loss of coil superconductivity—they will collect and store the helium that is expelled from the tokamak's magnetic system.

More information on the European Domestic Agency Energy website.


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