Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • In-vessel electrical systems | What it takes to wire up a fusion reactor

    While the challenges of keeping cables operational in harsh environments such as jet engines and nuclear fission reactors have been understood for a long time, [...]

    Read more

  • Assembly preparation | Off goes the lid

    In the summer of 2017, a circular platform was installed inside of the large steel-and-concrete cylinder of the Tokamak pit. The 200-tonne structure was meant t [...]

    Read more

  • Deliveries | Two coils on their way

    For the past five years, 'highly exceptional loads' (HEL) have been successfully travelling along the ITER Itinerary to be delivered to the ITER site. As the pr [...]

    Read more

  • ITER NOW video | Ready for the big lifts

    This new video in our "ITER NOW" series provides an insider's view of the recent load tests performed as the ITER Organization prepares for the machin [...]

    Read more

  • Divertor | Far more than a fancy ashtray

    It has been likened to the filter of a swimming pool or an oversized ashtray. It has been called alien in shape and hellish in its affinity for heat. But whatev [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Lower cylinder

A transfer that felt like art

Art has little to do with the transfer of a giant component. On Monday however, as ITER was preparing to celebrate Leonardo da Vinci's 500th anniversary, science, technology and industry conspired to provide a strikingly spectacular and beautiful event. As the set of trailers carrying the lower cylinder of the ITER cryostat slowly crawled out of the Cryostat Workshop, everything combined to create an awesome view: the minimalist architecture of the workshop; the cylindrical component all draped in white, and the shimmering steel of the Assembly Hall ... all against the backdrop of the intense blue of a spring sky in Provence.

On 15 April, the lower cylinder is moved out of the Cryostat Workshop to exterior storage area 73 (out of the picture frame, further to the left), where it will remain until it is time to enter the Cleaning Facility (right) for integration into the ITER machine pit. (Click to view larger version...)
On 15 April, the lower cylinder is moved out of the Cryostat Workshop to exterior storage area 73 (out of the picture frame, further to the left), where it will remain until it is time to enter the Cleaning Facility (right) for integration into the ITER machine pit.
The lower cylinder of the ITER cryostat is but one section of the giant thermos that will envelop the ITER Tokamak. Standing 12 metres high, it represents one-third of the total height of the ITER machine. As operators stood close to it, carrying out the highly delicate transfer operation, one could measure how tall, large and massive ITER will be.

Transferring the near-500-tonne load from its assembly site to the storage area a few dozen metres away required no less than four self-propelled modular transporters arranged in a square and moving in perfect coordination. Particularly impressive was the sharp 90-degree turn that the trailers had to take in order to reach the storage area—192 independent wheels slowing rotating at different angles, like small appendages of a powerful living organism.

To date, the lower cylinder is the heaviest load to be moved on the ITER platform. Solidly encased in its steel frame and carefully cocooned in air-tight material, it will remain in storage until the time comes to move it into the assembly pit.

The operation on Monday was a key milestone involving a dozen stakeholders—the cryostat team; heavy load transport specialist Sarens; metrology experts from ITER; global logistics provider DAHER, and many others (see box).

Transferring the lower cylinder to the storage area has freed a large working space inside the Cryostat Workshop. Soon, this space will be occupied by the assembly and welding operations for the upper cylinder whose segments are already on their way from their manufacturing location in India.

Participants in the transfer operation of the cryostat lower cylinder:

ITER Organization: Oversight, storage area, metrology, equipment rental, protection-important component surveillance; ITER's Construction Management-as Agent (MOMENTUM): Supervision, site inspections, site coordination; Cocoon Holland: Weather-proof packing, bi-annual inspection; Sarens: Component transport on self-propelled modular transporters; DAHER: Delivery of cocooning hardware to ITER, installation of shims in storage area; Indian Domestic Agency and its contractor Larsen & Toubro: Completion of cryostat lower cylinder; European Domestic Agency and its contractor ENGAGE: Management of construction work packages; APAVE: Health and Safety Coordinator.



return to the latest published articles