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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Fusion world | Mobilizing for long-pulse operation

    One of the key operational challenges in the development of fusion energy is the achievement, simultaneously, of high fusion performance and long-pulse operatio [...]

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  • ITER science | What is burning plasma?

    The dream of fusion power depends first and foremost on a self-sustaining fusion reaction, with most of the heating power needed coming from within the reaction [...]

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  • Plasma modelling | New SOLPS-ITER code version launched

    The widely used SOLPS-ITER tool for plasma edge modelling has evolved since its launch in 2015. At recent workshop at KU Leuven in Belgium, European specialists [...]

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  • Open Doors Day | Accessing the very heart of ITER

    Small or tall, knowledgeable or neophyte, from near or far ... the 600 people who took part in ITER's latest Open Doors Day all departed with the sense that som [...]

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  • Local | A question and answer session

    Nuclear safety policy in France requires that a local information commission (Commission locale d'information, CLI) be established every time a nuclear installa [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Image of the week

The lighthouse in the pit

Like a lighthouse (without a beacon) the central column rises more than 20 metres above the floor of the assembly pit. The massive structure does not belong to the tokamak, however: once connected to an array of nine radial beams it will form the backbone of a 600-tonne temporary tool that will support, align, and stabilize the vacuum vessel sub-assemblies as they are joined and welded. The tool is designed to support a total nominal weight of 5,400 tonnes.

The central column rises more than 20 metres above the floor of the assembly pit. It is one of the most massive tools used in the assembly process. (Click to view larger version...)
The central column rises more than 20 metres above the floor of the assembly pit. It is one of the most massive tools used in the assembly process.
On 27 March 2021, the first and sturdiest segment of the central column (the 70-tonne bottom cylinder) was lowered into the assembly pit and carefully inserted into the circular opening at the bottom of the cryostat base. Metrology confirmed that the structure was placed within 2 millimetres of its nominal position inside of the Tokamak Global Coordinate System (TGCS).

Five months later, on 20 August, the remaining four sections were successively installed and assembled, bringing the column to its full height.

Each of the nine radial beams will be supported by the central column on one side and the concrete bioshield on the other through brackets embedded in the L2 level of the bioshield wall. On 30 August, the first of these brackets, called a radial beam support, was successfully installed in port cell #12.

The port cells are numbered at the top of the assembly pit (photo). Once all nine vacuum vessel sub-assemblies are in place, the central column will be removed. In its place, operators will install the central solenoid. (Click to view larger version...)
The port cells are numbered at the top of the assembly pit (photo). Once all nine vacuum vessel sub-assemblies are in place, the central column will be removed. In its place, operators will install the central solenoid.
Everything is in place for a first "insertion" test. Later this week, the overhead cranes will lift a test radial beam (without its load) and insert it into the Tokamak pit in order to confirm the alignment between the central column and the radial beam support. This is one of the 27 steps leading to the installation of the first 1,200-tonne vacuum vessel sub-assembly, planned for late October.

 



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