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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Cryoplant | Filled from floor to ceiling

    The ITER cryoplant used to be a vast echoey chamber with 5,400 m² of interior space divided into two areas; now, it is filled from floor to ceiling with industr [...]

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  • Cryostat | Adjusting, welding, testing ...

    The assembly of the ITER cryostat—the stainless steel "thermos" that insulates the ultra-cold superconducting magnets from the environment—is progress [...]

    Read more

  • Tokamak Building | Full steam ahead

    In this central arena of the construction site, construction teams are active three shifts a day—two full work shifts and a third, at night, dedicated to moving [...]

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  • Poloidal field coils | Turning tables and hot resin

    One of only two manufacturing facilities located on the ITER site, the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility was constructed by Europe to house the winding, imp [...]

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  • Assembly Hall | One giant standing

    Two identical handling tools in the Assembly Hall will play a critical role in preparing ITER's nine vacuum vessel sectors for their final journey: transport by [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

A narrow passage to ITER

At the gorge of Mirabeau, 10 kilometres to the south of the ITER site, the wide Durance riverbed abruptly narrows into a gully less than 180 metres wide.

The remnants of the old bridge of Mirabeau, built in 1847, seem to stand guard over the narrow passage that leads to ITER. (Click to view larger version...)
The remnants of the old bridge of Mirabeau, built in 1847, seem to stand guard over the narrow passage that leads to ITER.
Overlooking the left bank, a road leading to the village of Saint-Paul-lez-Durance was hewn from the rock. Despite recent adjustments, it still offers only limited space for passage.

And yet, this is the road every ITER convoy must travel in order to reach the ITER site.

In this picture, a segment of the ITER cryostat lower cylinder is embarking on the last leg of its journey—ITER is now only 30 minutes away.

To the left, the remnants of the old bridge, built in 1847, seem to stand guard over the passage.

Initially planned as an HEL convoy (for Highly Exceptional Load)—a massive and costly logistics operation—the six lower cylinder segments of the cryostat were all "downgraded" to CEL convoys (for Conventional Exceptional Load), a transport category that requires lighter technical assistance and a reduced security escort.

This was possible (with heavy technical adaptations) because the rather light components (39 tonnes) exceeded the typical CEL dimensions by only 65 centimetres in height.

We will soon have a story on how DAHER, the logistics service provider responsible for the transport of components from Fos-sur-Mer harbour to the ITER site, plans to bring down the anticipated number of HEL, in order to achieve "best value for money" while reducing the inconveniences of the ITER HEL convoys on local populations.


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