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Of Interest

See archived entries

Central solenoid

First module ships

Having successfully completed an overland journey of 2,400 kilometres, central solenoid module #1 is now on its way across the Atlantic.  

The central solenoid module convoy is photographed from above as it approaches Houston, Texas. It sits low in the trailer to avoid bridges and other overhead obstacles like wires. Holding loads lower to the ground during transportation allows for a more even weight distribution on structures and a smoother ride. Photo credit: US ITER (Click to view larger version...)
The central solenoid module convoy is photographed from above as it approaches Houston, Texas. It sits low in the trailer to avoid bridges and other overhead obstacles like wires. Holding loads lower to the ground during transportation allows for a more even weight distribution on structures and a smoother ride. Photo credit: US ITER
Safely secured in the hold of the OCEAN GRAND, the 110-tonne magnet coil will reach Fos-sur-Mer, France, later this month, and the ITER site in early September. A second module will leave the premises of General Atomics, contractor to US ITER, in August.

US ITER oversees the entire fabrication process of the central solenoid at General Atomics and other vendors. Earlier in 2021, the first module successfully completed rigorous post-production testing that simulated the ITER operational environment, with cryogenic temperatures of 4.5 degrees Kelvin and powering to 40,000 amperes.

The 110-tonne module is loaded into the hold of the ''OCEAN GRAND'' on 7 July. Photo credit: US ITER (Click to view larger version...)
The 110-tonne module is loaded into the hold of the ''OCEAN GRAND'' on 7 July. Photo credit: US ITER
The 5-storey tall, 1,000-tonne magnet will induce 15 million amperes of electrical current in ITER's plasma to initiate each plasma pulse and to provide vertical stability of the plasma. To accomplish this, the central solenoid will reach a magnetic field strength of 13 Tesla, about 280,000 times stronger than the Earth's magnetic field. Six modules plus one spare are in preparation; each one is 2 metres tall, 4 metres wide, and wound from 5.6 kilometres of superconducting cable provided by ITER Japan.

The component left the General Atomics magnet manufacturing facility on 21 June and travelled by truck through southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. It left the port of Houston, Texas, on 7 July.



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