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Of Interest

See archived entries

Cryolines

Out through the door, in through the roof

Cooling fluids for the machine's magnets, thermal shield and cryopumps will travel to the Tokamak Building through a set of large multi-process pipes (cryolines) originating in the cryoplant. On Thursday 25 March, the first two cryoline spools connecting the cryoplant to the Tokamak Building were put in place through an opening in the building's roof.

The two cryoline spools that were installed on Thursday are the first elements of the future link between the cryoplant and the Tokamak Building. (Click to view larger version...)
The two cryoline spools that were installed on Thursday are the first elements of the future link between the cryoplant and the Tokamak Building.
The cryoplant is a congested place and moving the spools from their preassembly location inside the building to their final destination nearby was impossible. In order to be installed, the equipment needed to be removed out the door and brought back in through the roof.

Cryolines are not just pipes. Their innards comprise sensitive components, such as epoxy supports, that can only tolerate a certain level of acceleration during transport and lift. As a consequence, the operation on Thursday felt like an exercise in slow-motion, with operators checking the shock-recorder signals at every stage of the move.

The first component to go out and in again was a 12-metre-long, 1-metre-in-diameter, 6-tonne spool tasked with delivering helium at 4.7K (minus 269 °C) to the magnets. The second, slightly shorter, thinner and lighter cryoline is destined for the cryopumps, also cooled in the same temperature range.

Procured by India, both spools were manufactured by Air Liquide Advanced Technologies near Grenoble, France. Delivered in December 2020, they went through a lengthy process of interconnection welding, radiologic testing, helium leak tests, multi-layer insulation wrapping and outer vacuum jacket closure.

The two spools are the first elements of the future link between the cryoplant and the Tokamak Building. Vertically connected to the plant's termination cold box, which acts as a dispatcher for the cooling fluids, they bend at a 90° angle when they reach the roof in order to align with the future bridge that will span the distance between the two buildings.

The lifting of the two cryolines spools was perhaps not the most spectacular of the week (see here). But it was a complex and delicate operation that was perfectly executed by the Endel Cryolines Consortium, ORYS, CRYO DIFFUSION and crane operator Lafont.



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