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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Vacuum components | Shake, rattle, and... qualify!

    A public-private testing partnership certified that ITER's vacuum components can withstand major seismic events. Making sure the ITER tokamak will be safe in th [...]

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  • Feeders | Delivering the essentials

    Like a circle of giant syringes all pointing inward, the feeders transport and deliver the essentials to the 10,000-tonne ITER magnet system—that is, electrical [...]

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  • Image of the week | It's FAB season

    It's FAB season at ITER. Like every year since 2008, the Financial Audit Board (FAB) will proceed with a meticulous audit of the project's finances, siftin [...]

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  • Disruption mitigation | Final design review is a major step forward

    The generations of physicists, engineers, technicians and other specialists who have worked in nuclear fusion share a common goal, dedication and responsibility [...]

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  • Image of the week | Like grasping a bowl of cereal

    Contrary to the vast majority of ITER machine components, the modules that form the central solenoid cannot be lifted by way of hooks and attachments. The 110-t [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Images of the week

More than just "stacking"

Sitting at the very centre of the vacuum vessel, the central solenoid is a 1,000-tonne magnet made of six cylindrical modules stacked one on top of another. "Stacking," however, doesn't reflect the range, complexity and precision of the operations involved in assembling the giant component—the tallest and heaviest inside the ITER machine.

The view from above: two central solenoid modules are already installed on the bespoke assembly platform. Bottom left, is a multi-purpose work platform used to perform work from on top of the stack. To the right, are helium-cooled busbar lead extensions that feed 40 kA electric current to the magnets. (Click to view larger version...)
The view from above: two central solenoid modules are already installed on the bespoke assembly platform. Bottom left, is a multi-purpose work platform used to perform work from on top of the stack. To the right, are helium-cooled busbar lead extensions that feed 40 kA electric current to the magnets.
The six modules required for the central solenoid (plus an additional spare) are procured by the United States and manufactured by General Atomics in California. Of the four that have been delivered to ITER, two are fully installed and preparation work is underway to add a third to the already 6-metre-tall assembly standing on its bespoke platform.

Installing a 120-tonne superconducting module requires both heavy machinery and subtle adjustment devices. As the approximately 2.4-metre-tall components are positioned, any deviation from nominal would be progressively amplified as the assembly progresses. And the tolerance for deviation is low: no more than 20 mm for the entire 18-metre-tall structure once completed. In this quest for near-absolute precision nothing is trivial: the formulation of the concrete that anchors the platform plays a part, as does the way bolts are tightened.

Last week, experts from the Magnet Project carried out the electrical site acceptance test for the busbar lead extensions prior to preparing their installation in the stack. (Click to view larger version...)
Last week, experts from the Magnet Project carried out the electrical site acceptance test for the busbar lead extensions prior to preparing their installation in the stack.
However, for a time the module is slightly offset from the assembly axis to enable a series of delicate operations that need to be performed: creating the joints for the electrical lead extensions, welding the joint cases, and testing the high-voltage insulation of the superconducting joints before lifting and moving the module a few dozen centimetres into its final position.

Last week, experts from the Magnet Project were busy with the electrical site acceptance test (grounding continuity, low voltage insulation resistance, high voltage insulation resistance) prior to preparing the installation of one of the helium-cooled busbar lead extensions that feeds 40 kA electric current to the magnet. In the coming weeks, the third module (wrapped in pink protective plastic to the right of the image) will undergo the same installation procedures.



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