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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Neutral beam power | "Outside and beyond anything"

    In an empty plot on the ITER platform, preparatory works have started for the construction of two new buildings. From the outside, they will look like ordinary [...]

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  • Systems installation | Anticipation and flexibility

    It is a subterranean world of scaffolding and supports, piping and cables, concrete and embedded plates. To the untrained eye, the activity underway in the base [...]

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  • Image of the week | Keeping an eye on the hot (double) pancake

    An ITER ring-shaped coil begins its existence as cable-in-conduit conductor, wound into 'double pancakes' that are eventually stacked one upon the other to form [...]

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  • Cryostat thermal shield | A "strong back" for a fragile component

    The lower cylinder thermal shield is a large silver-plated component, circular in shape and five metres tall, which fits inside the depression in the cryostat b [...]

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  • Diagnostic shielding | B4C ceramic bricks prove their worth

    A number of materials can effectively shield diagnostic equipment from the neutron flux coming from the plasma. To find the best one, the diagnostics team at IT [...]

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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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