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  • Vacuum vessel assembly | Thermal shield passes first trial

    In the oversized world of ITER, the 11-metre-tall vacuum vessel thermal shield panels are lightweight components. At approximately 10 tonnes, they cannot compar [...]

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  • In memoriam | Professor Valery Aleksandrovich Kurnaev

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  • ITER Scientific Data Centre | How to manage 2 petabytes of new data every day

    Extracting as much information as possible from operation will allow ITER to make the most efficient use of the machine. Some of the data will be immediately ne [...]

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  • Image of the week | Europe's coil #5 unloaded at Fos harbour

    Of the eighteen D-shaped toroidal field coils (plus one spare) that are needed for the ITER Tokamak, four (two from Europe and two from Japan) have already been [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Inside the arena

A visit to the deep "well" where the ITER Tokamak assembly will begin next year begins with a journey underground ... through a maze of giant pillars, omnipresent scaffolding and spiral staircases.

All of the openings in the bioshield will allow access to the tokamak for all of the auxiliary systems needed to run the machine (fuelling, power, cooling, diagnostics, etc.). But the four ovoid-shaped openings that stand out in this picture are reserved for particular equipment—the powerful neutral beam injectors that will provide the bulk of ITER's heating power and the neutral beam used for diagnostics. (Click to view larger version...)
All of the openings in the bioshield will allow access to the tokamak for all of the auxiliary systems needed to run the machine (fuelling, power, cooling, diagnostics, etc.). But the four ovoid-shaped openings that stand out in this picture are reserved for particular equipment—the powerful neutral beam injectors that will provide the bulk of ITER's heating power and the neutral beam used for diagnostics.
This is a place where one can get easily lost. Access, safeguarded pathways, and metal staircases move as work progresses and once-familiar itineraries often turn into dead ends.

But there's a reward to this erring. Having found (and climbed) the proper staircase, the view opens at last to what we have come to see: a concrete arena, bristling with steel rebar. The scene that sets the stage for one of the most awesome experiments in human history.

Soon, though, the view will change. The installation of a temporary steel cap—whose purpose is to protect teams below while allowing work to continue on the bioshield, above—will hide the lowest level of the Tokamak Pit from our view.


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