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The tanks that are now installed in the bowels of the Tokamak Building are part of one of the key safety systems of the machine.Another challenge was the chamber's topography. Tanks measuring up to 6.7 metres in diameter had first to pass through an opening only slightly larger (7 x 7 metres), then to be moved along the narrow room with manually operated hydraulic jacks in order to make room for the next.
Two large drain tanks (210 m³) and a small 100 m³ tank belong to the Tokamak's cooling water system, which is designed to remove the heat from the components closest to the plasma. Contributed by the United States, the tanks were manufactured by the Joseph Oat Corporation, a sub-contractor to AREVA Federal Services based in Camden, New Jersey.
The four other tanks (stacked in two columns) are part of the ITER pressure suppression system, which protects the ITER vacuum vessel from over pressurization in the case of loss of coolant to the in-vessel components. These tanks were procured directly by the ITER Organization from a Chinese consortium (Chinese Nuclear Power Engineering Co Ltd and Suzhou THVOW Technology Co Ltd).
Using a technique called "electro-pickling," specialists removed the inevitable specks of rust and carbon spots on the outer surface of the drain tanks a few weeks before their installation.Download
One of the Tokamak cooling water system drain tanks is transported from temporary storage to the lifting point outside of the Tokamak Complex. One after another, the tanks were lowered through an opening preserved in the ceiling of the drain tank room.Download
Twice as tall as the vapour suppression tanks, the drain tanks had been stored in a horizontal position. Before they could be lifted into the Tokamak Complex by the main crane, a smaller crane was employed to bring them to an upright position.Download
The first vapour suppression tank has been deposited on the steel-lined floor of the drain tank room; a second one is being lowered through the opening in the ceiling. Once paired, the double assembly will be moved to the side to make room for the next delivery.Download
Moving components in the 100-tonne range does not require tremendous force ... provided that the loads are placed on air pads. Once deposited on the floor, each tank (or pair of tanks) was gently drawn into its final position by manually operated cables anchored in the walls.Download