Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Local partners | A celebration for ITER's "vital artery"

    ITER is made possible through the work of thousands of scientists, engineers, workers of all trades and industries across the globe. It is also made possible by [...]

    Read more

  • Photo reportage | Travelling with a coil

    From the salt marshes of the inland sea Étang-de-Berre to the rolling hills around the ITER site (with a view of some of the highest alpine summits) an ITER con [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | Shiny steel and sharp edges

    All shiny steel, sharp edges and perfectly machined penetrations and grooves, two toroidal field coils are being prepared for the pre-assembly process. The sp [...]

    Read more

  • Vacuum vessel sector #6 | On its way

    A 440-tonne, 40-degree sector of the ITER vacuum vessel left Busan, Korea, on Sunday 28 June. A unique component has taken to the sea—one that was more than t [...]

    Read more

  • Top management | Keun-Kyeong Kim, Head of Construction

    In the small Korean village (25 houses!) where Keun-Kyeong Kim spent the first eight years of his life, there was no electricity— just batteries to power transi [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Last leg of a long journey

Japan delivers D-shaped coil

What makes a component unique, beyond its size and weight, is the sum of work and the sophistication of the technologies that go into its fabrication. In this respect, the ITER D-shaped toroidal field coils are in a league of their own: standing 17 metres high, weighing close to 350 tonnes, they are among the largest superconducting magnets ever built and their production, from initial design to finalization, spanned three decades, involved more than one thousand people and mobilized 50 different companies and institutions.

The trailer prototype that was developed to transport the ITER D-shaped coils is both ultra-powerful (2,000 hp) and extremely manoeuverable (342 wheels). It is pictured here as it passes the village of Peyrolles-en-Provence, 17 kilometres to the west of the ITER site. (Click to view larger version...)
The trailer prototype that was developed to transport the ITER D-shaped coils is both ultra-powerful (2,000 hp) and extremely manoeuverable (342 wheels). It is pictured here as it passes the village of Peyrolles-en-Provence, 17 kilometres to the west of the ITER site.
Such exceptional components, which form the core elements of the ITER Tokamak, require exceptional care in their handling and transport. Every movement, whether during loading and unloading operations, sea voyage, or land journey, must be anticipated and carefully planned.

The land journey along the 104-kilometre-long ITER Itinerary, between Marseille industrial harbour and the ITER site, is particularly challenging. Some of the country roads that the convoy travels are only a few centimetres wider than the steel frame that encases the coil; several turns are sharp; a few climbs are steep.

Hauling such heavy loads (600 tonnes between component and transport vehicle) requires more horsepower than regular trucks can provide, and more gently distributed. For the ITER toroidal field coils and the other ultra-heavy loads that will follow, the Dutch transporter Mammoet, operating as a contractor to ITER global logistics provider DAHER, developed a prototype trailer whose twin "power packs" deliver the horsepower equivalent of six conventional truck tractors.

It is close to 2:00 a.m. and the journey from the other side of the world is almost over. Framed against the backdrop of the Tokamak Complex, the convoy will now take the heavy-haul road to the construction platform. (Click to view larger version...)
It is close to 2:00 a.m. and the journey from the other side of the world is almost over. Framed against the backdrop of the Tokamak Complex, the convoy will now take the heavy-haul road to the construction platform.
The prototype trailer made his first outing on 13 April to transport the first of the ITER D-shaped coils (TF#9), procured by Europe, from Marseille industrial harbour at Fos-sur-Mer to the ITER site. Having delivered the load on 17 April, it was back at Fos-sur-Mer the following day to load a second coil (TF#12) that had arrived from Japan ten days earlier.

TF#12 travelled the last leg of its journey from the other side of the world during the night of Friday 24 to Saturday 25 April (see gallery below).

By then, both coils were safely "home" on the ITER site—TF#9 stored in a dedicated workshop; TF#12 being moved to temporary storage in the recently vacated Cryostat Workshop.

A towering presence in their respective storage place, both coils will soon enter "mechanical preparatory activities" such as welding cooling pipes, attaching clamps, and welding interfaces) prior to being integrated into the assembly process.

There will be several more occasions to be impressed by the sight of a D-shaped coil convoy snaking along narrow country roads and passing sleeping villages in a flurry of rotating light. There are still 17 such loads to be delivered to ITER over the next three years. The next in line, TF #13, left the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries facility in Futami, Japan, on 26 April.

Click here to view a video of TF #12 delivery and the move into temporary storage.


return to the latest published articles