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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Cryostat base | Grand opening soon

    Picture a giant soup plate, 30 metres in diameter, slowing descending into a deep concrete cylinder. Track the near imperceptible movement of the double overhea [...]

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  • Research | ITER Scientist Fellows are at the cutting edge

    In the area of cutting-edge research—and particularly the sophisticated modelling of plasmas—the project is benefitting from the assistance of world-renowned ex [...]

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  • Image of the week | Testing the load path

    Teams are preparing now for the commissioning and dynamic load tests that will be carried out in the coming weeks on the assembly bridge cranes. The load tests, [...]

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  • In memoriam | Physicist John Wesson

    The theoretical physicist, author of a major reference book on magnetic confinement fusion in tokamaks, was known to many members of the ITER community. Some [...]

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  • CODAC | The "invisible system" that makes all things possible

    It is easy to spot all the big equipment going into ITER; what is not so visible is the underlying software that makes the equipment come alive. Local control [...]

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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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