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  • Central solenoid assembly | First sequences underway

    What does it take to assemble the magnet at the heart of ITER? Heavy lifting, unerring accuracy, and a human touch. The central solenoid will be assembled from [...]

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  • Assembly | The eyes of ITER

    Supervisors ensure compliance and completion as machine and plant assembly forges ahead. In Greek mythology, Argus was considered an ideal guardian because his [...]

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    A good repair job starts with a cleared workbench, the right tools on hand and a strong vise. This axiom, true for odd jobs in a home workshop, is also true for [...]

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  • Assembly | Set of handling tools for in-vessel installation finalized

    Inside of a test facility that reproduces the volume and geometry of the ITER vacuum vessel environment, a team from CNIM Systèmes Industriels has dem [...]

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  • 360° image of the week | The assembly theatre

    Ever since it was invented almost two centuries ago, photography has tried to capture what the human eye actually sees. Despite huge progress achieved, it has n [...]

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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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