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Of Interest

See archived entries

Central solenoid

All one needs to begin stacking

A beginner's Erector Set? Elements for an innovative board game? Not quite: these three circular structures and the tools and accessories scattered about are all one needs to begin building the ITER central solenoid, a massive, 18-metre-tall magnet weighing in excess of 1,000 tonnes.

All the elements are now in place to start building the 1,000-tonne, 18-metre-tall central solenoid—a superconducting magnet powerful enough to lift an aircraft carrier out of the water. (https://www.iter.org/newsline/-/2924) (Click to view larger version...)
All the elements are now in place to start building the 1,000-tonne, 18-metre-tall central solenoid—a superconducting magnet powerful enough to lift an aircraft carrier out of the water. (https://www.iter.org/newsline/-/2924)
The yellow structure at the bottom left is the "lifting fixture," a bespoke tool that will handle each of the six central solenoid modules by exerting a strong radial force from the outside, clutching and securing them in a 220 kN (kilonewton) embrace. To the right of the lifting fixture, awaiting assembly, is the circular helium manifold plate that will support the C-shaped pipe connected to the magnet's cooling circuit.

Wrapped in pink protective plastic at the upper left of the image is the first of the six modules that will be stacked, connected and held together by a set of tie plates to form the central solenoid. Manufactured by General Atomics in California, the central solenoid modules are the most emblematic of US Domestic Agency contributions to ITER.

To the right of the module sits the assembly platform. Nine circular fiberglass plate are already in place for ground insulation and height adjustment. The future stack of modules, in its support structure, will rise 18 metres.

Delivered in September last year, verified and equipped throughout the fall and winter, the first central solenoid module will be lifted and positioned on the assembly platform this summer.



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