ITER's largest components will be transported 104 kilometres along a dedicated itinerary from the Mediterranean Sea to the site in Saint Paul-lez-Durance. Precise mapping techniques allow ITER logistics provider DAHER to plan for each unique load (pictured: poloidal field coil #6).
The largest and heaviest loads shipped by the seven Members will arrive at the French harbour of Fos-sur-Mer, west of Marseille on the Mediterranean Sea. From there, they will cross the inland sea Etang de Berre before being transported along the dedicated ITER Itinerary to the ITER site in Saint Paul-lez-Durance.
Some 250 such convoys, travelling at night in order to minimize disturbances to the local communities, will be organized between 2015 and the completion of machine assembly.
The dimensions of the largest convoys that will travel along the ITER Itinerary are impressive: the heaviest will weigh approximately 800 tonnes (including the 200-tonne, 352-wheel transport vehicle); the tallest will be 10.4 metres high, the longest 33 metres, and the widest 9 metres (these maximum dimensions will not be attained simultaneously).
The arrival of the loads has been programmed according to the ITER Tokamak assembly and plant installation schedule: the first convoys will carry elements needed in the lowest levels of the machine and in the first auxiliary buildings.
In September 2014, the first completed components for the electrical installation reached ITER in France on behalf of the US Domestic Agency, from manufacturing locations in Europe and North America. From that point on, deliveries have accelerated—both "standard" deliveries by truck (Conventional or Conventional Exceptional Loads, CEL) and exceptionally sized loads along the ITER Itinerary.
The first extra-large component ("Highly Exceptional Load," or HEL) reached the ITER site on 14 January 2015. The largest components to travel along the ITER Itinerary will be the nine sectors of the ITER vacuum vessel
from Europe and Korea, and the nineteen toroidal field coils
from Europe and Japan.