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Of Interest

See archived entries

Cryostat lower cylinder

Our own Stonehenge

It's done. In the Cryostat Workshop on site, Indian contractors have completed the first of four cryostat sections—the 490-tonne lower cylinder. In a few days, when all the scaffolding and protective material have been removed, work will start to place the massive component in an airtight "cocoon" with a regulated atmosphere for storage on site.

Guests from the Indian Domestic Agency and from contractor Larsen & Toubro joined the ITER Director-General, ITER Organization staff, and on-site welding specialists from MAN Energy Solutions to celebrate the completion of the component (Click to view larger version...)
Guests from the Indian Domestic Agency and from contractor Larsen & Toubro joined the ITER Director-General, ITER Organization staff, and on-site welding specialists from MAN Energy Solutions to celebrate the completion of the component
On 27 February, guests from the Indian Domestic Agency (responsible for procuring the cryostat) and from Indian contractor Larsen & Toubro (L&T) joined the ITER Director-General, ITER Organization staff, and on-site welding specialists from MAN Energy Solutions (subcontractor to L&T) to celebrate the completion of the component.

In a daring parallel, Director-General Bigot described the finalized component as "our own Stonehenge or Grand Stupa of Sanchi"—two circular structures of similar dimensions, one in the south of the United Kingdom the other in central India, built with "the hope of forging unity and inspiring their societies to a better future."

Nothing gives a better sense of the size of the ITER machine than the now-completed cryostat lower cylinder. Keeping in mind that the complete component will be three times as high ... (Click to view larger version...)
Nothing gives a better sense of the size of the ITER machine than the now-completed cryostat lower cylinder. Keeping in mind that the complete component will be three times as high ...
The ring shape of the lower cryostat is also a potent symbol of the "One ITER" approach, remarked the ITER Director-General, as its elements "had been shipped halfway around the world from an Indian fabrication facility ... to an Indian facility on international soil here in the French region of Provence ... in which a German team has welded the pieces together under Indian supervision to ITER's specifications ..."

With a height in excess of 10 metres and a diameter of 30 metres, the lower cylinder gives a clear sense of the scale of the ITER machine. Keeping in mind, of course, that the complete component—into which the tokamak will be securely lodged—will be three times as high.


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