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Photo reportage | Travelling with a coil

From the salt marshes of the inland sea Étang-de-Berre to the rolling hills around the ITER site (with a view of some of the highest alpine summits) an ITER convoy travels the whole range of Provencal landscapes. As it progresses along the 104-kilometre ITER Itinerary, an ITER convoy adds a new dimension to these glorious vistas—the harsh beauty of a unique machine transporting a unique load. Last week, Newsline travelled with the ITER convoy delivering poloidal field coil #6, capturing some of the most spectacular moments of the four-night journey. Procured by Europe and manufactured in China, the ring-shaped magnet coil will be the first to be integrated into the ITER machine. The massive component arrived on site on Friday 26 June after a 10,000-kilometre voyage from its manufacturing site in Hefei, China. See a video of the last leg of the voyage here.

Local partners | A celebration for ITER's "vital artery"

ITER is made possible through the work of thousands of scientists, engineers, workers of all trades and industries across the globe. It is also made possible by the commitment, present and past, of the local French authorities and elected representatives. The creation and maintenance of the ITER Itinerary, along which components are delivered to the ITER construction site, is one of the major illustrations of their unwavering commitment. The ITER Itinerary was created to compensate for the geographical situation of the ITER site in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance/Cadarache, which is located approximately one hundred kilometres from the Marseille-Fos harbour where components for the ITER machine and plant systems are unloaded. The arrival of poloidal field coil #6 (PF6) on Friday 26 June—a particularly large and massive load—offered a symbolic opportunity to express ITER's gratitude to the local 'partners' of the project. 'The exceptional event that brings us together today owes a lot to your personal actions and those of your predecessors,' said ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot as he addressed the President of the Regional Council Renaud Muselier, government authorities, and the local mayors assembled in the building where the PF6 coil was temporarily stored. 'The ITER Itinerary is the vital artery that connects the ITER site to the factories, workshops and laboratories on three continents where machine components and plant systems are being manufactured. It is the project's lifeline.' In his response to the ITER Director-General, the president of the Sud-PACA region and France's former Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Renaud Muselier, expressed his pride in hosting ITER in Provence: 'ITER represents the future of energy. It is a jewel, a world-class asset with few equivalents on this planet.' Dwarfed by the massive presence of PF6, Jean-Marc Filhol, the Head of the ITER Department at Fusion for Energy, and François Genevey, the director of the ITER Project at global logistics provider DAHER, took turns at the lectern, narrating the challenges of the component's fabrication and transport. 'What history will retain,' concluded Bernard Bigot, 'is that the formidable venture of harnessing fusion, a venture founded on a unique international collaboration, took a decisive step here in Provence. And that you all had a part in it.' Click here to view a slideshow about the ITER Itinerary.

Image of the week | Shiny steel and sharp edges

All shiny steel, sharp edges and perfectly machined penetrations and grooves, two toroidal field coils are being prepared for the pre-assembly process. The spectacular D-shaped casings of TF9 (from Europe) and TF12 (from Japan) hide and protect a technological jewel: layer upon layer of spiralled conductor made of the exotic compound niobium-tin and adjusted with submillimetric tolerance.The ITER Tokamak will include 18 such coils, each as tall as a four-storey building and as heavy as a fully loaded Boeing 747 . Procurement of these massive components is shared between Europe (10) and Japan (8 plus one spare).

Vacuum vessel sector #6 | On its way

A 440-tonne, 40-degree sector of the ITER vacuum vessel left Busan, Korea, on Sunday 28 June. A unique component has taken to the sea—one that was more than ten years in the making. As the first of four sectors to be procured by the Korean Domestic Agency, vacuum vessel sector #6 was the first to progress through every pre-manufacturing, manufacturing, and testing phase. The component's complex geometry, a high number of interfacing parts, strict tolerances, and nuclear safety compliance requirements only increased the challenge for the manufacturing team at Hyundai Heavy Industries. As a first-of-a-kind component, it was also important to create a rigorous documentation trail—both to inform the manufacturing of other sectors, and to facilitate the component's integration into the machine once at ITER. Thanks to lessons learned on sector #6, three other sectors—#7, #8 and #1—are all at an advanced stage of manufacturing in Korea (>75 percent). Five other sectors are in fabrication under the responsibility of the European Domestic Agency. When it arrives at ITER later this summer, sector #6 will be brought into the Assembly Building and transferred by overhead crane to a laydown area. After a final helium leak test and site acceptance test, the component will be ready for handover to ITER Organization assembly contractor responsible for the vessel (TAC2) for a number of initial activities such as the installation of diagnostics, instrumentation and cable trays. From there, the component will be transferred to the sector sub-assembly tool for assembly with toroidal field coils #12 and #13, and sector-specific vacuum vessel thermal shields.

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