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Latest ITER Newsline

  • Cryolines | Out through the door, in through the roof

    Cooling fluids for the machine's magnets, thermal shield and cryopumps will travel to the Tokamak Building through a set of large multi-process pipes (cryolines [...]

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  • Image of the week | Next in line

    Of six ring-shaped coils required for the ITER Tokamak, poloidal field coil #6 (PF6) is the heaviest (400 tonnes) and the second smallest, with a diameter of 10 [...]

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  • Assembly tools | Strong base for a very heavy task

    The first part of the in-pit assembly tool has been installed in the Tokamak pit. When complete, the tool will stand more than 20 metres high and branch out in [...]

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  • Diagnostics | A stowaway on board toroidal field coil #8

    Hidden inside the steel case of the most recent toroidal field coil delivered to ITER—TF8, from Japan—is a unique and critical diagnostic device. Named after th [...]

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  • Vacuum vessel sector | A 90° tilt in mid-air

    Ever since ITER entered the machine assembly phase, some ten months ago, we have been treated to a few spectacular lifting operations. In May 2020, we watched t [...]

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Of Interest

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Special delivery for ITER

The exceptional convoys took two weeks to travel from their fabrication site at GH in San Sebastian, Spain to the ITER site. Photo: AIF (Click to view larger version...)
The exceptional convoys took two weeks to travel from their fabrication site at GH in San Sebastian, Spain to the ITER site. Photo: AIF
Giant steel beams arrived at the ITER site this week after a two-week voyage from San-Sebastian, Spain on flatbed trucks. The beams will form the first of two bridge cranes that are planned for the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility.

The Winding Facility is the enormous building going up along the eastern side of the ITER platform that will house the assembly of the poloidal field coils. Five of the six poloidal field coils, measuring from 8 to 24 metres in diameter, are too massive to be transported in their finished state. The winding operations for these magnets will be carried out by Europe in the Poloidal Field Coil Winding Facility, using conductors supplied by China and Europe.

Traffic was halted briefly as the huge beams made their way across the rotary and onto the ITER construction site. Photo: AIF (Click to view larger version...)
Traffic was halted briefly as the huge beams made their way across the rotary and onto the ITER construction site. Photo: AIF
The heavy lifting required for coil assembly will be done by two bridge cranes. Straddling the workspace across its width (approximately 40 metres) and installed at opposite ends of the Winding Facility, the cranes will travel along metal rails that span the building's entire length.

"We're talking about two very heavy units that will be capable of carrying loads of 25 and 50 tonnes respectively," explains Philippe Martin, project director for the Winding Facility and representative of Spie Batignolles, part of the French consortium (Spie Batignolles, Omega Concept and Setec) chosen by the European Domestic Agency F4E to design and build the facility. "The building was designed around the requirements of these cranes, including massive concrete pillars anchored deep in the ground to support the runways."

During operations, the crane will unload 20-tonne coils of niobium-titanium (NbTi) superconductor from trucks that back directly into the building, and deliver them to the winding machines. On the opposite end, the completed windings will be transported by the second travelling crane for final assembly activities.

Preparing to lift the 23-tonne beams into place. Photo: AIF (Click to view larger version...)
Preparing to lift the 23-tonne beams into place. Photo: AIF
Over the past days, the beams for the first crane—with a combined weight of 46 tonnes—were settled into place in the west part of the building some 9.50 metres overhead. Once secured, workers will lift the hoisting trolley into its final position and proceed with electrical connections and load testing. In all, the installation should take three weeks.

"The delivery of this first crane happened right on schedule," says Philippe. "From the beginning of construction activities last August we have been able to maintain the schedule, which is a real challenge for a project of this size. It's hard to believe that 11 months ago, there was nothing here."

Rendez-vous at the beginning of September for the delivery of the second crane ...

Click here to view the image gallery.


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