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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • ITER Council: project metrics confirm performance

    The governing body of the ITER Organization, the ITER Council, met for the twenty-first time on 15 and 16 November 2017 under the chairmanship of Won Namkung (K [...]

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  • COP 23 | Placing ITER on the global scene

    On the western bank of theRhine and not far from the seat of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, world leaders are discussing how to push ahead for international [...]

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  • Japan's MEXT Minister | Seeing is believing

    On 4 November, ITER received Yoshimasa Hayashi, the Japanese Minister of MEXT—the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology with oversight [...]

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  • Architect Engineer | ENGAGE receives prestigious award

    Since 2006, the French 'Grand Prix de l'Ingénierie' has recognized engineering projects and/or teams that are remarkable in terms of scope, innovation, complexi [...]

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  • Sub-assembly tools | One foot inside

    The twin Korean giants already have a foot inside the Assembly Hall—literally. The foot—or 'bottom inboard column' in ITER parlance—is a 4.4-metre-long steel [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

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.
 


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