Heaviest load yet | Europe's coil soon to hit the road

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Heaviest load yet

Europe's coil soon to hit the road

It's big, it's heavy, it's precious and it's highly symbolic: the toroidal field coil that was unloaded at Marseille industrial harbour on 17 March is the most massive, most sophisticated ITER component to arrive in France, and the first to belong to the very core of the ITER Tokamak.

The 420-tonne load arrived from Italy in the evening of 17 March and was unloaded the following afternoon. Ensuring its safe delivery has come with many daunting challenges. Photo DAHER (Click to view larger version...)
The 420-tonne load arrived from Italy in the evening of 17 March and was unloaded the following afternoon. Ensuring its safe delivery has come with many daunting challenges. Photo DAHER
Procured by Europe and finalized in Italy, the coil is part of a set of 19 needed by the ITER machine (18 plus one spare). It is a unique piece of high technology: twelve years of work, involving more than 700 people and 40 different companies went into its making.

Global logistics provider DAHER, the ITER Organization, and the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy collaborated closely for three years to establish procedures and to design and manufacture lifting tools and a transport frame. Photo DAHER (Click to view larger version...)
Global logistics provider DAHER, the ITER Organization, and the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy collaborated closely for three years to establish procedures and to design and manufacture lifting tools and a transport frame. Photo DAHER
Ensuring safe delivery to the ITER site has come with many daunting challenges. Global logistics provider DAHER, the ITER Organization, and the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy collaborated closely for three years to establish procedures and to design and manufacture lifting tools and a transport frame.

The resulting transport and storage frame, a 100-tonne structure that brings the total load to 420 tonnes, is in itself a remarkable achievement. Not only does it protect the component throughout the many handling, transfer and transport operations, it is also designed to allow access for assembly teams during the preparation phase prior to the component's transfer to the on-site Assembly Hall.

The last leg of the journey will begin on 23 March with the crossing of the inland sea Étang-de-Berre, followed by four nights of travel along the ITER Itinerary. Due to the highly unique nature and sheer bulk of the component, progression along the Itinerary will be slower than with previous highly exceptional loads.

Secured onto its transport trailer, the load is transferred to the barge that will take it across the inland sea Étang-de-Berre. Delivery to the ITER site is expected in the early hours of 3 April. Photo DAHER (Click to view larger version...)
Secured onto its transport trailer, the load is transferred to the barge that will take it across the inland sea Étang-de-Berre. Delivery to the ITER site is expected in the early hours of 3 April. Photo DAHER
At the break of day on 3 April, the convoy will arrive at ITER—a major event in the history of the project.

It will soon be followed by the arrival of a toroidal field coil from Japan, a vacuum vessel sector from Korea, and a poloidal field coil manufactured in China for Europe.



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