Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:


Please enter your email address:

@

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 [...]

    Read more

  • 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 [...]

    Read more

  • 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 [...]

    Read more

  • 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 [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

The series is complete

It all began under Emperor Napoleon III, at the peak of the European industrial revolution when coal, steel and the spirit of conquest ruled the world. In La Seyne-sur-Mer, some 65 kilometres east of Marseille, France, a forge-and-shipyard was busy turning out steam boilers and hulls for cruisers and battleships.

A forge-and-shipyard founded in 1856 at the peak of the European industrial revolution has morphed into a world-spanning industrial group strongly involved in ITER fabrication. On 23 May, it celebrated the completion and subsequent shipping of the last of 35 radial plates for the ITER toroidal field coils. © CNIM (Click to view larger version...)
A forge-and-shipyard founded in 1856 at the peak of the European industrial revolution has morphed into a world-spanning industrial group strongly involved in ITER fabrication. On 23 May, it celebrated the completion and subsequent shipping of the last of 35 radial plates for the ITER toroidal field coils. © CNIM
A century and a half has passed, yet the company founded in 1856 is still active: the local forge-and-shipyard—now called CNIM—has morphed into a world-spanning industrial group with activities ranging from waste treatment to the design and manufacturing of large industrial systems.

Coal has waned, but working with steel, welding and the machining of large and complex components has remained at the core of the company's expertise.

The D-shaped radial plates for the ITER toroidal field coils definitely fit into the category of "large and complex components"—they are big (8.5 x 15 metres), heavy (between 5.5 and 9.7 tonnes) and the machining of their grooves, into which 450 metres of superconducting cable-in-conduit is later inserted, is a highly delicate operation that requires submillimetre precision.

In 2009, CNIM signed a contract with the European Domestic Agency to produce a real-size radial plate prototype. Three years later, as part of a consortium with the Italian SIMIC, it was awarded a EUR 160 million contract for series fabrication—a total of 70 radial plates (1) to be shared equally between the two companies.

Last week on 23 May, the last of the 35 CNIM-produced radial plates left La Seyne-sur-Mer for the ASG Superconductors SpA facility in La Spezia, Italy, where the jacketed cable will be inserted into the plate's groves.

CNIM managers and personnel, representatives from the ITER Organization, the European Domestic Agency and SIMIC had gathered in the company's large hall to celebrate the culmination of a five-year effort.

"Programs like this one are great accelerators of innovation," said Philippe Lazare, the CEO of CNIM's Industrial Systems Division. "We've been constantly 'flirting' with technological boundaries," confirmed Jean-Claude Cercassi, the Development Director for the ITER program.

(1)  Japan is procuring another 64 radial plates, corresponding to the plates needed to assemble the nine toroidal field coils under its responsibility (Europe is procuring 10 toroidal field coils).
 
Click here to read a detailed account of the 23 May event on the European Domestic Agency website.
 


return to the latest published articles