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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Cryostat thermal shield | A "strong back" for a fragile component

    The lower cylinder thermal shield is a large silver-plated component, circular in shape and five metres tall, which fits inside the depression in the cryostat b [...]

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  • Diagnostic shielding | B4C ceramic bricks prove their worth

    A number of materials can effectively shield diagnostic equipment from the neutron flux coming from the plasma. To find the best one, the diagnostics team at IT [...]

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  • Image of the week | The cryostat top lid, batch after batch

    Batch after batch, the elements for the top lid of the ITER cryostat keep arriving from India. As of today, 7 out of the 12 required segments have been delivere [...]

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  • Cooling water system | The tanks within a tank

    Deep inside the bowels of the Tokamak Building, the entrance to one of most spectacular rooms of the whole installation resembles that of a broom cupboard. [...]

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  • ITER assembly | Last major assembly contract signed

    One year after finalizing two major machine assembly contracts, the ITER Organization has chosen the contractors who will carry out assembly and installation ac [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Vacuum vessel

First sector unveiled

Travelling in nondescript casing, like a mobile home designed by an uninspired architect, the first of nine sectors of the ITER vacuum vessel was delivered to ITER on 7 August. Five days later, as the housing was removed, the jewel was revealed in all its strangeness: a massive, 440-tonne, D-shaped chunk of steel, dotted with hundreds of protruding cylindrical bumps that evoked a perfectly aligned, metallic measles eruption.

Beyond its alien shape and its awesome mission, this unique industrial object carries a strong symbolic dimension. It will stand at the core of the first 1,200-tonne pre-assembly to be installed into the assembly pit. (Click to view larger version...)
Beyond its alien shape and its awesome mission, this unique industrial object carries a strong symbolic dimension. It will stand at the core of the first 1,200-tonne pre-assembly to be installed into the assembly pit.
Once combined and welded, four sectors supplied by Korea and five supplied by Europe will form ITER's toroidal plasma chamber. As for the measles eruption, it is caused by the "flexible support housings" or "cartridges"—1,760 of them in total and approximately 200 per sector—onto which the blanket shield blocks will be attached.

Beyond its alien shape and its awesome mission, this unique industrial object carries a strong symbolic dimension. It will be the first to be "upended" to vertical and placed within the open arms of ITER's tallest assembly tool—one of the twin sector sub-assembly tools (SSATs)—to be associated with two D-shaped toroidal field coils (TF12 and TF13) and corresponding thermal shielding.

Vacuum vessel sector #6 will stand at the core of the first 1,200-tonne pre-assembly—the first to be delivered by overhead crane into the Tokamak pit. Lessons learned on this first pre-assembly operation will contribute to increased ease and faster turnaround times for all other vacuum vessel pre-assembly sequences.

For the moment, the component has been transferred to the far end of the Assembly Hall, where the ITER team has performed a helium leak test. A full report will be published in next week's Newsline.


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