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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

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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

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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