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  • Remembering Bernard Bigot, ITER Director-General 2015-2022

    On the ITER site, the machinery of construction was humming just like on any weekday. Workers were concentrating on their tasks, laying rebar for new buildings [...]

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  • Tokamak assembly | Preparing for the Big Lift

    The distance was short but the challenge daunting: on Thursday last week, the first section of the plasma chamber was lifted 50 centimetres above its suppor [...]

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  • Image of the week | 13th toroidal field coil arrives from Europe

    The toroidal field coil procurement effort has been one of the longest of the ITER program, initiated by Procurement Arrangements signed in 2007 and 2008. Manuf [...]

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  • Diagnostics | Final Procurement Arrangement signed

    ITER Diagnostics reached an important milestone in December 2021 when it concluded the last Procurement Arrangement of the diagnostics program. After signing a [...]

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    Work is progressing on the ITER Control Building, ergonomically designed for the 60 to 80 operators, engineers and researchers who will call it home.  [...]

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Of Interest

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Port cells

All 46 doors in place

In ITER, ordinary objects and features often take on an awesome dimension. Take the doors that seal off the port cells around the Tokamak for instance. Doors they are, with hinges that attach them to their frame. But, this being ITER, they are unique: four metres wide and nearly as many in height, they are as thick as a stone wall and as heavy as a small steam locomotive.

The French-German engineering consortium Cegelec/Sommer, subcontractor to the European consortium VFR that is in charge of the construction of the Tokamak Complex, manufactured the nuclear doors and developed a custom-made lifting device dubbed the ''moped.'' (Click to view larger version...)
The French-German engineering consortium Cegelec/Sommer, subcontractor to the European consortium VFR that is in charge of the construction of the Tokamak Complex, manufactured the nuclear doors and developed a custom-made lifting device dubbed the ''moped.''
A set of 46 port cell doors will act as confinement barriers, sealing off the port cells that spoke away from the machine and shielding the environment from the radiation generated by the burning plasma. Their thick steel structure (39 tonnes) is filled on site with 7.5 cubic metres (28 tonnes) of high-density, specially formulated concrete that opposes the passage of neutrons and potential contamination.

Installation of the port cell doors in the Tokamak Building began in July 2018 and was completed just a few weeks ago, on 19 June. For close to two years, a bespoke tool dubbed the "moped" (la pétrolette) by the teams handled and manoeuvred the massive structures through the galleries inside the building, shuttling them from the concrete-filling station to their installation location.

A strange yet familiar sight, the bright red moped on yellow wheels will not be seen anymore ...


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