Soon to be delivered | The heaviest and widest load to date

Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

Your email address will only be used for the purpose of sending you the ITER Organization publication(s) that you have requested. ITER Organization will not transfer your email address or other personal data to any other party or use it for commercial purposes.

If you change your mind, you can easily unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe option at the bottom of an email you've received from ITER Organization.

For more information, see our Privacy policy.

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Cryodistribution | Blowing cold and hot

    If the cryodistribution system were a railroad, the cryogenic termination cold box would be its main switch. A massive structure packed with pipes, valves, elec [...]

    Read more

  • Pre-assembly activities | Captured from on high

    With assembly tools standing 22 metres tall, massive bridge cranes straddling the width of the building, and alien-shaped components placed at regular intervals [...]

    Read more

  • 27th ITER Council | Assembly moves ahead

    The Twenty-Seventh Meeting of the ITER Council took place by videoconference on 18 and 19 November 2020, chaired by LUO Delong from China. Representat [...]

    Read more

  • Fusion world | Translating JET into ITER

    With an inner wall made of beryllium and tungsten, the European tokamak JET is the only tokamak in the world to share the same material environment as ITER. Whe [...]

    Read more

  • Worksite | Major progress you don't see from the air

    There was a time when aerial pictures of the ITER worksite taken at six-month intervals showed spectacular change. Buildings and structures sprouted from previo [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Soon to be delivered

The heaviest and widest load to date

Over the past five and a half years, dozens of heavy ITER components have been unloaded at Marseille industrial harbour to be transported along the ITER Itinerary as "highly exceptional loads" to the ITER site. The record so far has belonged to the D-shaped toroidal field coils from Europe and Japan (360 tonnes each) that were delivered to ITER in April. But next week, as poloidal field #6 (PF6) leaves the shores of the inland sea Étang-de-Berre and begins its land journey to ITER, the record will be shattered.

Adding to the weight of the coil proper (400 tonnes), the transport frame and trailer bring the total load close to 800 tonnes. (Photo: DAHER) (Click to view larger version...)
Adding to the weight of the coil proper (400 tonnes), the transport frame and trailer bring the total load close to 800 tonnes. (Photo: DAHER)
Procured by Europe, manufactured by ASIPP in Hefei, China, PF6 is one of the six ring magnets that circle the vacuum vessel of the ITER Tokamak. Sitting at the bottom of the machine, it is the second smallest (10.5 metres in diameter) and yet the heaviest  (400 tonnes) of the six.

Adding to the weight of the coil proper, the transport frame and trailer bring the total load close to 800 tonnes.

However, the challenge of transporting this massive component over a distance of 100 kilometres is not so much its weight but its width. The transport frame for the circular coil is just over 11 metres wide, and a few passages along the ITER Itinerary had to be adapted for this component particularly.

A narrow passage between two cliffs was enlarged in the summer of 2018, and the precise topography of a long tree-lined alley was captured by 360-degree 3D scanning in order to identify every single branch that could potentially stand in the way of the convoy, decide where to prune, and plot the best course for the trailer to slalom between obstacles.

PF6 is seen here as it passes the Martigues drawbridge to enter the inland sea Étang-de-Berre. (Photo: Port de Marseille Fos) (Click to view larger version...)
PF6 is seen here as it passes the Martigues drawbridge to enter the inland sea Étang-de-Berre. (Photo: Port de Marseille Fos)
PF6, which was unloaded at Marseille harbour on 11 June, is scheduled to reach ITER before the end of this month.

Since January 2015, when a 90-tonne, US-procured electrical transformer reached ITER, 86 "highly exceptional loads" have travelled the ITER Itinerary. Approximately 120 more are expected in the five years to come, including another 16 toroidal field coils and all nine 440-tonne vacuum vessel segments.

Next in line for arrival are toroidal field coil #13 from Japan, and vacuum vessel sector #6 from Korea.


return to the latest published articles