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  • Component delivery| A jewel in a box

    Sailing under the flag of Germany, the Regine is a mighty ship, strengthened for heavy cargo and equipped on its portside with two 750-tonne on-board cranes. Ha [...]

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  • Education | Make your own tokamak with 3D printing!

    It's not Lego, but it is definitely 'hands-on.' To offer a tangible device to illustrate the workings of magnetic confinement fusion in a tokamak, the ITER Orga [...]

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  • Worksite | Europe's Fusion for Energy is building the ITER installation

    Anyone driving to ITER can take full measure of the enormity of the project a few kilometers before reaching the destination. Gigantic cranes can be seen from a [...]

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  • Disruption mitigation | Experts in plasma disruptions gather online

    On 20-23 July, 120 international experts participated in the 1st IAEA Technical Meeting on Plasma Disruptions and their Mitigation, jointly organized by the Int [...]

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  • Start of assembly | World dignitaries celebrate a collaborative achievement

    Due to the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the crowd in the ITER Assembly Hall was small. But thanks to live broadcasting and video feed, the audi [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Cryoplant

How to install a compressor

In order to properly install a helium compressor skid on its concrete pad, you need to start with a large push broom to sweep away the dust that inevitably accumulates on the pad's surface.

The last of the 18 skids will be safely and precisely installed atop their massive four-metre-high concrete pads this week. (Click to view larger version...)
The last of the 18 skids will be safely and precisely installed atop their massive four-metre-high concrete pads this week.
Then come sophisticated laser measurements; a set of steel plates, or shims, of different thicknesses; and, eventually, a powerful telescopic crane to delicately manoeuvre the 20-tonne compressor skid into place.

In the ITER cryoplant, the last of the 18 skids will be safely and precisely installed atop their massive four-metre-high concrete pads this week. Organized in three "compression station trains," each linked to a helium cold box, the compressors will supply the cold boxes with gaseous helium at 21.8 bars and eventually provide the necessary gas flow for the supercritical helium cooling needs of the Tokamak.

The 20-tonne skid comprises the compressor itself, its motor, and different auxiliaries. Perfect positioning is essential to avoid vibrations and difficulties in attaching the interconnections of the ''station trains.'' (Click to view larger version...)
The 20-tonne skid comprises the compressor itself, its motor, and different auxiliaries. Perfect positioning is essential to avoid vibrations and difficulties in attaching the interconnections of the ''station trains.''
Positioning the 20-tonne skid—which comprises the compressor itself, its motor, and different auxiliaries—onto the surface of the concrete pad is an operation that demands millimetric precision, as a slight misalignment could result in damaging vibrations and difficulties in attaching the interconnections of the "station trains."

A pad's concrete surface, however, cannot provide the perfect reference for such tight tolerances. Tiny differences in "altitude" or planarity brought to light by laser measurements need to be compensated by the stacking of shims upon which the skid will rest.

And then the final step: once the skid is in place and anchored deep into the pad's slots, a special grouting—part cement, part resin—is poured to federate the pad and the skid into a mechanically homogeneous structure—a monolith of concrete and steel.


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