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Of Interest

See archived entries

Assembly

Long-term coil park

Manufactured in China under a European contract, poloidal field coil #6 (PF6) was the first magnet to be installed in the assembly pit in late April 2021. Sailing the south China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean, it travelled more than 10,000 kilometres to reach the ITER construction site. For its successor in the assembly sequence, poloidal field coil #5 (PF5), the trip was much shorter: just a few hundred metres from the European poloidal field coil winding facility on site to the Assembly Hall and into the assembly pit. With the installation of this second ring-shaped coil on 16 September, ITER has achieved yet another major assembly milestone.

The first poloidal field coil to be produced by the European Domestic Agency on site at ITER—PF5—was positioned at the bottom of the Tokamak pit on 16 September. (Click to view larger version...)
The first poloidal field coil to be produced by the European Domestic Agency on site at ITER—PF5—was positioned at the bottom of the Tokamak pit on 16 September.
PF5 was the first coil to leave the European production line in April of this year. From the start of coil winding activities in September 2017, to resin impregnation, final assembly, and cold testing, its realization was a meticulous, stage-by-stage process that required the expertise of a dozen companies and more than 150 people.

On Monday 26 July, the coil was moved out of temporary storage and into the Assembly Hall. A few weeks of preparation and rigging followed, and by 15 September it was ready for installation.

Poloidal field coil #5 is the fifth major component to be installed in the Tokamak pit after the cryostat base, the cryostat lower cylinder, the lower cryostat thermal shield, and poloidal field coil #6. (Click to view larger version...)
Poloidal field coil #5 is the fifth major component to be installed in the Tokamak pit after the cryostat base, the cryostat lower cylinder, the lower cryostat thermal shield, and poloidal field coil #6.
At 17 metres in diameter and weighing close to 350 tonnes, PF5 is neither the largest, or the heaviest, of the machine's six ring-shaped coils. It is nonetheless an impressive component, whose planarity had to be maintained and guaranteed throughout the lifting and installation sequence.

Once lowered into the pit, the coil had to fit precisely on its supports, just above magnet feeder components and a few centimetres from the surface of the lower cryostat thermal shield. Early in the afternoon of 16 September, PF5 was its final "parking position," with all position requirements within tolerance.

Like its neighbour PF6, PF5 will remain in a temporary position for a few years. When all vacuum vessel sectors are in place, both coils will be raised to their permanent position (a move of approximately 2 metres for PF6 and 1.5 metres for PF5).

Click here to view a video of PF5 installation.



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