The January event concluded approximately one year of acceptance testing at the Trial, Test and Training Facility in La Seyne-sur-Mer (Toulon), France, during which bespoke technical solutions for the installation of four types of component systems that directly attach to the inner walls of the ITER vacuum vessel were tested successfully.
Two remote-controlled manipulators (in yellow) will help the assembly teams inside of the closed ITER vacuum vessel to install component systems directly on the inner walls. During testing, the manipulator showed it could position a 4.5-tonne blanket shield block with an accuracy of 0.1 millimetres.
"Technically, I can say that our partners have performed really well," says Oldfield. "We really appreciate the solution developed by CNIM for personnel access: to use standard cherry pickers adapted to run on the same bottom rails as the in-vessel tower crane—this is a solution we had not envisaged and it will offer our installation teams a lot of versatility, carrying them all over the chamber. It has also been really impressive to see how only two workers can carry out most component installation operations using the remote box. The tools are so effective that the process of transferring a component from the port cell to its final position on the vacuum vessel wall will not be a bottleneck in the overall in-vessel component assembly schedule."
All tools and mockups—including this scale-one Trial, Test and Training Facility that reproduces one-third of the ITER vacuum vessel and a single port cell corridor—will be transferred to ITER for operator training and procedure development.