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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Toroidal field coils | Finishing touches on site

    Between the time a toroidal field coil is delivered to ITER and the moment it is ready to enter the pre-assembly process, certain tasks must be performed: the w [...]

    Read more

  • Cryostat base insertion | "A moment that will live in our memories"

    In the closing scene of the 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, an alien spaceship hovers above an anxious and awestruck crowd of scientists and engi [...]

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  • Cryogenics | As dry as He can get

    Before it gets processed in the cold boxes of the ITER cryoplant, gaseous helium need to be perfectly dry—and this means removing every single water molecule th [...]

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  • Electron cyclotron transmission lines | Design phase ends

    US ITER is ready to start manufacturing high-power microwave transmission lines for the electron cyclotron resonance heating system. After several years of d [...]

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  • Gyrotrons | Russia completes four

    Gyrotrons (from the Greek 'gyro' (circle) and 'tron' (abstracted from electron) are the energy-generating devices of the electron cyclotron resonance heating sy [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Cryoplant

A vertical displacement event

Three vertical storage tanks have been installed since last week outside of the cryoplant. The operation requires two powerful cranes working in tandem but also the strength of many arms ...

Installed vertically because of space constraints, six identical tanks will store 380 cubic metres of gaseous helium each at a pressure of 22 bars. (Click to view larger version...)
Installed vertically because of space constraints, six identical tanks will store 380 cubic metres of gaseous helium each at a pressure of 22 bars.
There are 36 semicircular openings at the base of each tank, corresponding to 36 steel rods deeply anchored into the 2.5-metre thick concrete platforms that have been built to receive them. Each tank stands 20 metres high and weighs 150 tonnes.

As the crawler crane seize a tank by its "ears" (two cylindrical protrusions called "trunnions" located at the upper end of the component), and as the telescopic crane slowly lifts its lower end, one wonders how the required alignment will be achieved.

One hour later, the question can be answered. The crawler crane positions the tank vertically and leaves it hovering a few centimetres above the rods. Three men weigh in with all their strength on the bottom rim: a few pushes to the right, a few pulls to the left, a tilt inward and a small rotational movement and everything falls into alignment. The crane operator can then carefully lower the tank so that all 36 rods slide into their corresponding holes, ready to be bolted.

Last Wednesday's operation was a spectacular first. By the end of the week it was routine and as of today's Newsline, three tanks are in place.

Installed vertically because of space constraints, the six tanks, procured by Europe, will each store 380 cubic metres of gaseous helium at a pressure of 22 bars. They will act as buffers for certain phases of operations and also as storage when ITER is not running.

Read a full report on the European Domestic Agency website.


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