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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Manufacturing | Like a fire-breathing dragon

    With the precision of a surgical tool, the plasma jet cuts through the thickness of the steel plate. As sparks fly, the large circular opening at the centre of [...]

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  • Control buildings | A question of balance

    Construction on the main ITER Control Building is now underway. Scientists, engineers and operators will work from this building on the platform to monitor mach [...]

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  • R&D | Diagnostic shielding material qualified in India

    Subsequent to the full validation of material production and machining feasibility, 'Made in India' boron carbide (B4C) blocks are now qualified for use as radi [...]

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  • On site | Co-locating port plug assembly and testing

    For about 20 of the ITER ports that house diagnostics elements, the path to installation in the tokamak passes through a Port Integration Facility on site. Side [...]

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  • Image of the week | Two coils in a boat

    Sailing ten thousand miles alone in a ship's hold can be a very lonely experience. Fortunately for them, toroidal fields #2 and 10 will be able to keep each oth [...]

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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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